[By NBC-1TV K. Y Yi]MUJU, Korea (June 24, 2017) – South Korean President Moon Jae-in, in a surprise visit to the
first day of the 2017 WTF World Taekwondo Championships Opening Ceremony, spoke of his hopes for sportive and political reconciliation between the two Koreas.
His address preceded the highlight of the championships’ Opening Ceremony – a highly symbolic back-to-back demonstration by teams from the International Taekwondo Federation, or ITF, and the WTF With 183+1 (the “one” denotes a refugee team) nations represented and 1,800 athletes and officials registered, 2017 is the biggest taekwondo World Championships ever, welcoming 17 countries which have never formerly taken part. It also welcomed some very special guests: Moon – the first national president ever to visit a World Taekwondo Championships – and the ITF Team, composed of North Koreans, and an accompanying delegation.
“We have guests who are closest in distance but who have traveled a long way to be here,” said Moon, referring to the ITF visitors from North Korea. “I hope that that WTF and ITF can become one and South and North Korea can become one and the world can become one as well.”
Moon also expressed his hope that the WTF would be able to perform at the upcoming ITF World Championships in Pyongyang, North Korea, in September. Part of Moon’s presidential platform is dialog with North Korea; his meetings with North Korean officials and athletes in Muju today mark the first cross-border contact of his administration.
Moon was thanked by WTF President Chungwon Choue. Following Moon’s theme, Choue -who had earlier that day said he anticipates increased cooperation between the WTF and TF to follow the championships, expressed his hopes that the tournament would be a “festival of peace and harmony.”
The opening ceremony that formed the backdrop to this sports diplomacy was jaw-dropping. It opened with video on the overhead screens of taekwondo matches, performances and Taekwondowon - the world’s largest taekwondo-dedicated training facility and the championship venue - and a recorded message about the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation, a charity initiative which empowers child refugees worldwide via the gift of taekwondo training.
The first performance was a show stopper: It featured floodlit chime drums being played and dancers gyrating over the floor – which doubled as a screen, over which film of taekwondo history ran, to the aural backdrop of pansori, or Korean opera. The second performance was a live dance/drama covering taekwondo’s recent history, from the first world championships in 1973 to the present – again, making full use of the stadium floor as a screen, with booming music.
This was followed by a group taekwondo performance, serenaded by a troupe of traditional percussionists whose thunderous rhythm set the tempo for their punches and kicks. It concluded with what may well be a world record of serial jump spinning kick breaks along the length of the stadium floor. Next was more taekwondo-themed dance and a fan dance set to, inevitably, the Korean folk tune “Arirang.”
Then, President Moon was introduced on the VIP stand – he waved to the crowd to wild applause. After he took his seat, a key moment came: The newly rebranded World Taekwondo flag was marched on, before the flags of all participating nations entered the field of play. The crowd rose as the Korean national anthem was sung by a children’s choir.
After Moon and Choue had spoken, Chung Sye-kyun, Speaker of the National Assembly of Korea, said, “I am happy to hear your thunder.” Next, IOC Vice President Zaqing Yu delivered a message from IOC President Thomas Bach, telling the athletes, “All of you are assured to make your mark here in Muju.” Bach himself will visit the championships on June 30 for the Closing Ceremony.
Tae-hun Kim of Korea – the 2017 championships host nation - and Bianca Walkden of Great Britain – the 2019 championships host nation - recited the athletes’ oath. This was followed by the referees’ oath. An opening declaration was read by the Governor of Muju and the two chairman of the Organizing Committee.
Then the flags exited the stadium and a troupe of taekwondo players performed with a group banners. Next it was the turn of the famous WTF Demonstration Team to ignite the arena.
In black, white and colored doboks, they performed group poomsae that ran like a marital kaleidoscope, then a flying series of non-stop kick breaks. Funkier stuff followed: Taekwondo dance, set to thumping electronic rock. Next: Traditional group poomsae and sky-high breaks, followed by power breaks.
A performance followed using – unusually for taekwondo, a primarily unarmed martial art – oars and sticks. After this, the team surged over the floor in a parade of freestyle leaps, kicks and gymnastics to K-rock. The show ended with high breaks that unfurled the new World Taekwondo banner.
After the stage was cleared of smashed boards, the highly anticipated ITF Demonstration Team, composed of North Koreans, entered. While the ITF Team may have lacked the WTF Team’s upbeat tempo, artistry and showmanship – color, lights and music - they made up for it with a hardcore, muscular and macho brand of taekwondo. The team marched on wearing plain, traditional doboks, and were introduced by a sturdy matron at the mic.
First, they performed traditional group poomsae marked by powerful basics. This was followed by self-defense and power kick breaks using unusual angles - jumping ax kicks and jump twist kicks. Next was female-against male self-defense including head locks with the legs followed by full body slams.
A drama – three attackers assaulted a young man and his lady friend – followed. All attackers were swiftly dispatched. Next came power breaks by the team’s biggest member against some very thick boards. The breaker was given the biggest applause of the evening for his repeated efforts to break one particular chunk that stubbornly refused to shatter.
Next were a series of well-timed two-versus-one, three-versus-one and four-versus-one fights, which incorporated the hero being beaned with wooden poles. There were more breaks and somersault breaks, then the unbreakable board was bought out once more. Yet again, it failed to succumb, even to a barrage of jumping spinning back kicks. The ITF show ended with break falls, combat techniques and tile smashes that left powder from the shattered masonry lingering in the air.
In an unscheduled development, President Moon walked onto the stadium floor and shook the hands of every member of both the ITF and WTF teams, before both teams and assembled VIPs took group photos.
The photos concluded opening ceremony. The championship semi-finals and finals begin tomorrow, and the tournament ends on June
[NBC-1TV 박승훈 기자]이종철 미국 뉴저지 팰리세이즈팍 부시장이 타운의회에서 시의장으로 재선출돼 팰팍 타운에서 부시장과 시의장을 겸직하게 됐다. 팰팍 타운의회는 6일 이 부시장의 시의장 임명안을 표결에 부쳐 만장일치로 선임했다. 이 부시장은 지난 2012년에도 시의장직을 수행한 바 있다. 팰팍 시의장은 1년 임기로 타운의회를 이끄는 최고 의사 결정권자로 시장이 공석 등으로 업무를 수행하지 못할 경우 시장 권한대행을 할 수 있다. 한편 이 부시장은 일본군 위안부 기념비를 팰팍시에 세계 최초로 설치했으며, 공립학교에 한글을 제2외국어로 지정하고 한식을 공립학교에 점심 급식으로 제공하는 추진력을 발휘했으며, 팰팍 중심도로에 Korea Way 설치에도 발벗고 나섰다.
[By NBC-1TV K, Y Yi]WUXI, China (Jan 6, 2018) – A highly entertaining second Saturday of the super-elite World Taekwondo (WT) Grand Slam 2017/18 series, which pits the best twelve athletes in each Olympic weight category against each other, took place today, with athletes competing in the Female -67kg and male -68kg categories. In the unpredictable female competition, third seed Ruth Gbagbi of Cote d’Ivoire came out on top after impressively defeating dark horse YunfeiGuo of Team China in the final by 10:6. The Rio 2016 bronze medallist has been in excellent form recently and her fearsome, al
[By NBC-1TV K, Y Yi]WUXI, China (28 Dec. 2017) – Two days before the inaugural edition of the Wuxi 2017 World Taekwondo Grand Slam Champions Series kicks off on Saturday, the WT’s finest athletes and senior officials got their first look at the bespoke venue at a press conference held in the Wuxi Taihu International Expo Center in Wuxi, China. The Grand Slam Series – to be held over five consecutive Saturdays in this city in eastern China–will be fought under amended rules designed to upgrade the sport’s spectacle, and offers the biggest prize money in taekwondo history: USD70,000 for first p
[NBC-1TV 이경찬 기자]문재인 대통령은 2일 오전 국립서울현충원 참배로 새해 첫 공식일정을 시작했다. 문 대통령은 이날 오전 8시 이낙연 국무총리와 김동연 경제부총리, 김상곤 사회부총리, 김부겸 행정안전부 장관을 비롯한 각 국무위원, 임종석 대통령 비서실장 등 20여 명과 함께 현충원을 찾아 현충탑에 헌화하고, 순국선열과 호국영령의 넋을 기렸다. 현충탑에 도착한 문 대통령은 '대통령 문재인'이라고 적힌 화환을 순국선열과 호국영령에게 헌화한 후 분향·묵념했다. 한편 이 총리와 각 국무위원은 미리 현충원에 도착해 문 대통령을 영접했다.
[NBC-1TV 이광윤 보도국장]문재인 대통령이 3박 4일의 중국 국빈방문 일정을 마치고 16일 늦은 밤 서울공항을 통해 귀국했다. 문 대통령의 이번 방문에서는 국빈의전에 심각한 민낯을 보인 중국측의 외교상 결례가 발생하여 양국이 앞으로 풀어야 할 과제가 남게 되었다. 문 대통령은 15일 충칭에 있는 대한민국 임시정부 청사를 방문하고 김구 선생의 흉상에 헌화한 후 독립 유공자 후손들을 만났다. 이어 현대지동차 충칭공장을 방문해 현장 근로자들을 격려하고 협력사 대표들을 만나 양국 경제협력의 가교가 되어달라고 당부했다.