March 25, 2019, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium have landed in Seul, South Korea at the invitation of the Belgian Government to celebrate and build diplomatic, economic, and cultural ties.
Warme ontvangst bij aankomst in Seoul, het startsein van een vierdaags staatsbezoek aan Zuid-Korea.#Seoul #Korea #Brussel #België #DiplomaticRelations #BELKOR2019 @BelgiumMFA #BelgianRoyalPalace #MonarchieBe pic.twitter.com/K9olPybxD6— Belgian Royal Palace (@MonarchieBe) March 25, 2019
During the 3-Day State Visit to South Korea, the Monarch family have visited a number of places in Seul, including World Taekwondo Headquarters.
King Philippe received warm hospitality from the Acting President of Kukkiwon Kim Youngtae and other executives of the WTH. He was invited to the West Gate of Kukkiwon and asked to sign his name in the guest book, then headed to the Gymnasium for a ceremony that has been prepared in honor of his visit.
The welcome ceremony kicked off with a celebratory 15-minute-long performance by the Kukkiwon Taekwondo Demonstration Team for the 20-odd figures in attendance, which included Kukkiwon executives, such as Acting President Kim Youngtae and Acting Secretary-General Kim Il-Seop, as well as King Philippe and other officials of the Belgian government.
Well-executed performance from the Kukkiwon Taekwondo Demonstration Team was not the only nice surprise of the evening. The King of Belgium was invited to the stage where he changed into a Taekwondo dobok to do Sonnal-gyeokpa (knife hand breaking).
Initiation au taekwendo lors d’une visite à la fédération Kukkiwon.— Belgian Royal Palace (@MonarchieBe) March 27, 2019
Initiatie taekwondo tijdens een bezoek aan de Kukkiwon-federatie. @The_Kukkiwon @WorldTaekwondo1 @tkdvlaanderen #BELKOR2019 #BelgianRoyalPalace #MonarchieBe pic.twitter.com/0dOfkNFEaN
Following that, the President of Kukkiwon Kim Youngtae awarded King Philippe with the Honorary 8th Dan Certificate on behalf of Kukkiwon and asked for the king’s steadfast cooperation in promoting exchange between the two countries of Korea and Belgium through Taekwondo and expanding the base of Taekwondo.
To this, King Philippe replied,
I would like to thank Kukkiwon for granting me this honorary dan certificate on this day. I was deeply moved by the performance of the Kukkiwon Taekwondo Demonstration Team. Taekwondo is practiced not just in Korea, but also by many Belgians. My son is one such practitioner. While my son may be in Belgium, I am certain that he will be greatly jealous of me when he finds that I have received an honorary dan certificate from Kukkiwon. I hope that my visit will lead to much exchange between our two countries of Belgium and Korea