On January 17, 1971, Dr. Un Yong Kim (a shrewd businessman, not a martial arts master), who was serving as Deputy Chief of the Presidential Protective Forces, was elected president of the KTA. He was an academic scholar with graduate degrees from Korea and the United States and a seasoned former diplomat with excellent people skills who had strong political ties both domestic and abroad. He had been instrumental in organizing the building of an advanced Taekwondo training establishment in Seoul, Korea. On March 20, 1971, Korean President Park Chung Hee declared Taekwondo the national sport of Korea and allocated funds to build the "Kukkiwon," which would serve as the central gymnasium and world headquarters for Taekwondo.
Construction began in 1971 and it was completed on November 30, 1972. Feeling that Korea was the mother country of Taekwondo and that the world headquarters should be located there, he dissolved the ITF's connection with KTA and on May 28, 1973 created a new international body called the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF). The Kukkiwon became known as the "mecca of world Taekwondo." On May 25-27, 1973, the first biennial World Taekwondo Championship was held at the Kukkiwon, with the participation of 19 countries. The success of this event proved that Taekwondo had been internationally recognized as a valid sport as well as being an extremely effective method of self-defense. The event started Taekwondo toward becoming a world sport.
During the meet, several KTA leaders including Chong Woo Lee, Won Kyu Um, and Nam Suk Lee called for establishment of a worldwide Taekwondo organization to help get Taekwondo into the Olympics. Representatives of the participating countries at the meet formed a new, worldwide organization to promote Taekwondo on an international level, the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF). They elected Dr. Un Yong Kim as president and the WTF absorbed the KTA.
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