PPP lawmaker Bae Hyun-jin makes 1st public appearance since attack

Rep. Bae Hyun-jin of the ruling People Power Party (PPP) on Friday made her first public appearance since being attacked by a teenager last week. Bae, who represents the eastern Seoul district of Songpa, attended a PPP meeting in her constituency Friday, eight days after a 15-year-old boy struck the lawmaker repeatedly in the head with a rock. Bae, who had her bleeding wound stapled, was discharged from a Seoul hospital last Saturday. She attended Friday's meeting wearing a green beanie over her injured head. "I hope what I've experienced won't turn into a trauma marked by fear. I will try to create a politics based on hope and joy, not one led by dread and fear," Bae told the audience. "I really want to demonstrate that we can all protect each other and we can be even safer. I will try to get rid of violent politics that banks on hatred." While thanking paramedics for their help last week, Bae also paid tribute to two firefighters who were found dead Thursday while trying to put out a fire at a factory in the central city of Mungyeong. "Hearing about that incident broke my heart," Bae said. "Everyone in politics must pay more attention to firefighters, paramedics and police officers who sacrifice for the rest of us." PPP leader Han Dong-hoon canceled his other commitments scheduled for Friday to attend the Songpa meeting in a show of his support for Bae. "This is an important day marking Rep. Bae's courageous return to her normal life," Han said. "I had no choice but to cancel everything else for today to be here." Han praised the way Bae handled the aftermath of her attack, as she stayed above the fray and refused to get into a blame game. "Politically, it would be easy to point fingers," Han said. "But Rep. Bae did not go down that path, because she didn't want to make people feel uneasy and she didn't want to contaminate politics with conspiracy theories." Source: Yonhap News Agency