South Korea's opposition Democratic Party leader Lee Jae-myung was stabbed in the neck during a visit to the southern city of Busan on Tuesday and was airlifted to a university hospital for treatment, party and fire officials said.

Lee, who narrowly lost the 2022 presidential election, was conscious and being flown to Seoul National University in the capital after receiving emergency treatment at the Pusan National University Hospital, party spokesman Kwon Chil-seung said.

The transfer to Seoul was possible after medical staff determined his condition was not life-threatening based on emergency treatment and a CT scan, a Pusan National University Hospital official said.