South Korean lawmaker attacked in street, assailant arrested

SEOUL (Reuters) -An unidentified attacker struck a lawmaker from South Korea's ruling People Party in the head with an object on Thursday, the party said, requiring her hospitalisation.

The party said Bae Hyun-jin was attacked on a street in the affluent Gangnam district of the capital Seoul and it called for a thorough investigation.

Yonhap news agency reported that her attacker was arrested on the scene and told police he was 15 years old. He had asked Bae for her name before hitting her with a small stone, it said, adding that she had been bleeding when taken to the hospital.

No further details about the assailant or his motive were available, and the Gangnam police station was not immediately available for comment.

The attack comes after the leader of South Korea's opposition Democratic Party Lee Jae-myung was stabbed with a knife in the neck earlier in January. He underwent surgery to repair a lacerated blood vessel.

"We can't help but feel saddened by (Thursday's) attack," the People Party spokesman Jung Hee-yong said in a statement. "We urge a thorough investigation and stern action against the perpetrator."

The party's interim leader, Han Dong-hoon, later told reporters at the hospital that Bae had bled quite a lot after the attack but was now recovering, adding that such an incident should never happen again.

(Reporting by Jack Kim and Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Gareth Jones)