Representatives at the UN 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 it 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 the 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-recognized 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 UN.”
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.