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Russia's Putin gets honorary taekwondo black belt

Thursday - 11/14/2013, 10:28am  ET

In this photo taken on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) President Choue Chung-won, left, gives an honorary taekwondo black belt and uniform to Russian President Vladimir Putin at Lotte Hotel in Seoul, South Korea. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service)

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

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, Putin has earned a black belt in judo, another martial arts discipline.

The federation officials said they awarded Putin the 9th 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 has recently hosted a global martial arts competition in St. Petersburg.

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