Taekwondo-Enter The Diplomat - UN's Ban gets black belt

Thu Jun 6, 2013 10:24am IST

United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-moon speaks after a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House, April 11, 2013. REUTERS/Larry Downing/Files

United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-moon speaks after a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House, April 11, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing/Files

(Reuters) - Representatives at the United Nations may think twice about crossing Ban Ki-moon in future after the secretary-general was awarded an honorary 10th degree black belt in the Korean martial art of taekwondo.

While is unclear whether the 68-year-old Ban can break bricks with his bare hands, World Taekwondo Federation president Choue Chung-won said the awarding of the black belt reflected the common goals and values shared by the UN and federation.

"I am delighted to have presented UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with our prestigious black belt," Choue said in a statement.

"The black belt is a globally-recognised symbol of expertise across the martial arts and awarding it to the secretary-general represents how strongly matched the WTF's values are with the United Nations."

South Korean Ban, who succeeded Kofi Annan in the UN's top job in 2007 and will serve through his second term until the end of 2016, praised the efforts of the federation, founded in 1973, to achieve peace through sport.

"The World Taekwondo Federation have many accomplishments to celebrate as they mark their 40th anniversary," he added in the statement. "They have become a great example of the values and objectives that are shared by the United Nations and the Olympic Movement."

While ninth degree is technically the highest level attainable through the ranking system, some honorary 10th degree black belts have been awarded to individuals for their contributions to taekwondo and society in general.

The WTF presented their first two honorary 10th degree black belts to International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge and his predecessor, Juan Antonio Samaranch. Ban is the third recipient of the third. (Writing by Peter Rutherford in Singapore; Editing by John O'Brien)

Reuters Showcase

Indian Healthcare

Indian Healthcare

Exclusive - Payment delays dent India's flagship health, AIDS programmes  Full Article 

India-Pakistan Ties

India-Pakistan Ties

Indian, Pakistani foreign secretaries to meet in Islamabad.  Full Article 

Jaitley Speaks

Jaitley Speaks

India needs sustained GDP growth of 9-10 percent - Jaitley.  Full Article 

Obama Interview

Obama Interview

Exclusive - Nemtsov killing sign of worsening climate in Russia: Obama.  Full Article 

Environment Concerns

Environment Concerns

Deforestation could shift monsoons, leaving India high and dry.  Full Article 

Forbes Rich List

Forbes Rich List

Bill Gates tops Forbes rich list, Michael Jordan joins.  Full Article 

New Tour

New Tour

Pop icon Madonna announces dates for 'Rebel Heart' tour.  Full Article 

Lathmar Holi

In Pics: Lathmar Holi

Images of "Lathmar Holi" at Nandgaon in Uttar Pradesh.  Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage