DP head back on campaign trail one day after hammer incident
The 58-year-old DP head told reporters Tuesday morning before resuming campaigning activities that he considered staying in the hospital a bit longer, but decided to leave after the doctor said he was safe to go.
By 11:10 a.m., he was back in campaign mode, holding a picket near Yeouido Station in western Seoul that read, “I beg you. Please vote for Lee Jae-myung. [The DP will achieve] national unity and overcome the crisis no matter what.” Song was seen wearing a grey hat over what appeared to be a head bandage.
Song later accompanied Lee to a campaign rally near the Yeouido Post Office.
The 70-year-old male suspect who attacked Song at a campaign rally in Sinchon, western Seoul, on Monday was arrested at the scene, but police have yet to reveal a motive. Local broadcaster YTN reported that the man was refusing to testify. Officers Tuesday said a pre-trial detention warrant could be filed for him on charges of special assault and interrupting election campaigning activities.
On Monday, just two days before the presidential election, the suspect, who’s been identified by the surname Pyo, approached Song from behind and bashed his head three times with a hammer, near the Sinchon U-Plex square at around 12:05 p.m.
Song had just arrived at the campaign rally to deliver a speech.
Video footage captured by a bystander showed the assailant dressed in hanbok (traditional Korean attire) holding a selfie stick in one hand and a black plastic bag in the other, which turned out to be concealing a hammer. The suspect was restrained by people at the scene and arrested on the spot by police.
Song, bleeding from the head, was whisked to the emergency room of Severance Hospital in Sinchon. DP campaign officials later said Song’s skull was partially depressed, but that there was no damage to his brain or tissues, nor were there any signs of brain hemorrhage. The injuries, overall, were non-life-threatening, they confirmed.
The suspect apparently had been following Song on the campaign trail since last month, as seen through videos he uploaded to his own YouTube channel. Witnesses said he shouted, “I am against South Korea-U.S. military exercises,” and “I can’t pass on such a world to young people.”
Videos on his YouTube appeared to be generally in support of DP’s presidential candidate Lee, but a number of uploads were critical of Song. In one video, the suspect urged “anti-nationalist” Song to retire.
BY LEE SUNG-EUN [firstname.lastname@example.org]