(AA) – U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert was discharged Tuesday from Seoul’s Severance Hospital, five days after receiving more than 80 stitches for knife wounds to his face and arm.
The 42-year-old envoy, who only took up his post last year, was attacked at an event in the South Korean capital last Thursday.
Police caught Lippert’s assailant red-handed at the time of the assault – 55-year-old Kim Ki-jong was protesting against ongoing South Korean-American military exercises and is currently being detained on multiple charges, including attempted murder.
Investigators are also looking more closely into Kim’s motivations after discovering a collection of pro-North Korean literature during a raid of his home and office.
Having received widespread local support and even a surprise hospital visit from South Korean President Park Geun-hye, Lippert expresed his “profound gratitude” to those who aided his recovery as he was greeted by reporters upon his release.
“I feel pretty darn good all things considered,” he said.
In a further hint that last week’s attack would not affect his future role on the Korean Peninsula, Lippert insisted that “this incident has only strengthened our love and affection for this country.”
The U.S. ambassador and his wife have quickly settled in Seoul, and they even gave their son a Korean middle name upon his birth earlier this year.