On January 25, 2024, Bae Hyun-jin, a member of South Korea’s ruling People Power Party and a former television news anchor, was assaulted in Seoul’s upscale Gangnam district. The attack resulted in a head injury for the lawmaker, who is currently receiving medical treatment.
The incident occurred around 5 p.m. when an unidentified male approached Bae and asked if she was the lawmaker before striking her in the back of the head with a fist-sized rock. Bae was immediately taken to Soonchunhyang University Hospital. Despite the severity of the attack, her injuries are not considered life-threatening. She remained conscious throughout the ordeal, though she experienced bleeding and dizziness.
CCTV footage from Bae’s office revealed that the attacker hit her 15 times with the rock in approximately 10 seconds. Bae fell backward during the assault and hit her head on the pavement. The attacker, who wore a mask, beanie, and hoodie, was apprehended by Bae’s aides and handed over to the police. He claimed to be 15 years old.
Medical staff at the hospital used a stapler for two sutures to treat a one-centimeter scalp injury. Dr. Park Seok-gyu, attending to Bae, reported that she was stable but required monitoring for potential concussion symptoms and intracranial microbleed.
The People Power Party’s interim leader, Han Dong-hoon, visited Bae at the hospital. Bae conveyed through Han that she was recovering well and asked the public not to worry excessively.
This assault follows a string of recent attacks on South Korean politicians, including the stabbing of opposition leader Lee Jae-myung earlier in the month. The ruling party spokesman, Park Jung-ha, expressed serious concern about the rise in political violence and extremism in the country, condemning these acts as unacceptable under any circumstances. The Democratic Party also denounced the attack on Bae as “political terrorism that threatens democracy.”