- Associated Press - Thursday, November 14, 2013

MOSCOW (AP) — The World Taekwondo Federation has awarded an honorary black belt to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mr. Putin received the certificate and a taekwondo uniform at a ceremony in Seoul before wrapping up his visit to South Korea on Wednesday.

While the taekwondo grade is symbolic, Mr. Putin has earned a black belt in judo, another martial arts discipline.

The federation officials said they awarded Mr. Putin the ninth-degree black-belt title in recognition of his efforts to foster sports in Russia. The same federation awarded U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon a 10th-degree black belt in taekwondo.

Russia recently hosted a global martial arts competition in St. Petersburg.

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