Lee Dong-seop, president of the Seoul-based Kukkiwon, also known as the World Taekwondo Headquarters, has awarded an honorary black belt in taekwondo to Donald Trump, due to Trump’s “interest in the martial art.”
The black belt marks the former US president as a ‘Ninth Dan’, the highest attainable level in the martial art.
“It is my pleasure and honor to receive this honorary certificate. Taekwondo is a great martial art for protecting oneself in these times,” Trump said.
The former US president said he would wear the taekwondo suit in the US Congress should he return to the White House in the future. Trump also invited the Kukkiwon team to hold a taekwondo demonstration in the US.
Lee apparently requested Trump’s “continued support” for and cooperation with Kukkiwon and the martial art.
According to the Kukkiwon website, promotion to the highest level requires a candidate to complete at least nine years of training and submit a minimum 10-page thesis on their “Taekwondo Life” or “Taekwondo Spirit.”
The recognition means Trump now shares the same rank as his hero – Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin, who was awarded an honorary black belt and made a grandmaster of taekwondo during an official visit to South Korea in 2013.