- Trump joins the Pope in receiving the high honor
- The belt ceremony took place Thursday at Mar-a-Lago in Florida
- The Korean presenters had a special robe made for Trump to wear for the presentation
Donald Trump is the first current or former American president to receive one of the highest honors that can be presented by Koreans: a high-degree blackbelt in TaeKwonDo.
The head of South Korea's Kukkiwon TaeKwonDo organization flew into the U.S. and presented the ninth degree blackbelt to Trump at Mar-a-Lago in Florida.
The U.S.-based TaeKwonDo GrandMaster Eungil Choi (to left of Trump in photo) helped organize the presentation. Choi is also a ninth degree blackbelt.
TaeKwonDo is an Olympic sport and the official sport of South Korea. Widely practiced in both North and South Korea, including by the military, it is one area of commonality that brings the two Koreas together. The South Korea-based Kukkiwon TaeKwonDo headquarters has helped arrange past visit to the U.S. and demonstrations by the North Korean demonstration team.
The last major international figure to be awarded a very high-ranking honorary blackbelt was the Pope, who received a tenth degree blackbelt in 2017.