SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A well-wishing South Korean man tried to offer dog meat to injured U.S. Ambassador Mark Lippert, who is recovering from an attack by a knife-wielding anti-U.S. activist, hospital officials said Saturday.
The man, who looked to be in his 70s, arrived at Seoul's Severance Hospital Friday morning with a package that he said was dog meat and seaweed soup, according to an official who didn't want to be named because he wasn't authorized to speak to the media.
The man asked the food to be delivered to Lippert to help him heal, but the hospital rejected the food because of rules for patients' health and security, the official said.
South Koreans commonly offer dog meat to patients recovering from surgery based on old beliefs that it helps heal wounds.
A dog lover, Lippert, 42, had been regularly seen walking his basset hound, Grigsby, near his residence in Seoul before the attack on Thursday It left him with deep gashes on his face and arm and damaged tendons and nerves.
Lippert was recovering well in his third day of treatment. He is expected to stay at the hospital until Wednesday, according to hospital spokesman Kim Whi-yoon. While Lippert has been complaining of pain in the wound near his left wrist and a finger where doctors repaired nerve damage, he told doctors Saturday that the pain has become less intense, Kim said.
The hospital plans to remove the 80 stiches on Lippert's face through separate procedures on Monday and Tuesday. Hospital officials said he may experience sensory problems in his left hand for several months.
The Seoul Central District Court on Friday granted a police request for the formal arrest of the suspect, Kim Ki-jong, 55, who could face charges including attempted murder, assaulting a foreign envoy, obstruction, and violating a controversial law that bans praise or assistance for North Korea.