Obama calls injured ambassador after S Korea attack

Obama calls injured ambassador after S Korea attack
U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert leaves after he was slashed in the face by an unidentified assailant at a public forum in central Seoul March 5, 2015.

WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama on Wednesday called a former aide and now US ambassador in South Korea to wish him well following a bloody attack that Washington strongly condemned.

The president called Mark Lippert "to tell him that he and his wife Robyn are in his thoughts and prayers, and to wish him the very best for a speedy recovery," said Bernadette Meehan, National Security Council spokeswoman.

The State Department said Lippert was "assaulted Thursday morning in Seoul while giving a speech." "We strongly condemn this act of violence," deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said.

Lippert was a long-time advisor to Obama, serving him in the US Senate, during the successful 2008 election bid, the presidential transition team and in the White House as Chief of Staff for the National Security Council.

A former intelligence officer for Naval special operations, Lippert won a Bronze Star Medal following a deployment to Iraq.

He became ambassador last year after a stint at the Pentagon.

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