He was delighted with this honor.
Former President Donald Trump was presented with an honorary ninth dan black belt in taekwondo this weekend by the chief of one of the sport’s governing bodies at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Resort in Palm Beach, Florida .
Trump received the honor from Lee Dong Seop, the chairman of Kukkiwon, the world headquarters of taekwondo located in South Korea.
A South Korean living in the United States hosted the meeting, Korean newspaper Dong-A-Ilbo reported on Monday.
“I heard that Donald Trump is very interested in taekwondo,” Lee said, quoted by the outlet.
The 45th President posed with Lee while wearing traditional taekwondo attire in several photographs posted on Kukkiwon’s Facebook page. The photos were accompanied by a disclaimer saying the ceremony was “unrelated [to] any other political question.
“It is a pleasure and an honor for me to receive this honorary certificate. Taekwondo is a great martial art to protect yourself in these times (when COVID-19 is prevalent), ”Trump said, citing Dong-A-Ilbo.
The former president reportedly added that he would wear the taekwondo outfit in Congress if he was elected president again and invited the Kukkiwon demonstration team to the United States to perform.
After the ceremony, Trump and Lee posed in front of a photo in Mar-a-Lago showing the former president shaking hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as they met in the Korean demilitarized zone in 2019.
Trump is not the first prominent world leader to receive a ninth degree black belt. Russian President Vladimir Putin received the honor during a visit to Seoul in 2013.
Like Trump, Putin never practiced taekwondo. However, the Russian leader has a black belt in judo.
A ninth dan black belt is the highest level attainable by professional martial artists. Trump and Putin outclassed martial arts expert and “Walker, Texas Ranger” star Chuck Norris, who only has an eighth-degree black belt in taekwondo.