SunJae Park, president of the Italian Taekwondo Federation, was unanimously elected Acting President of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) in a meeting of the WTF Executive Council held at the conference room of the Radisson Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand, on Feb. 15, 2004. Out of 31, 28 members attended the meeting.
He is succeeding Dr. Un Yong Kim who founded the WTF in 1973 and had been in its leadership in the last 30 years. Park will be in the acting presidency pending the election of a new President in the extraordinary General Assembly.
The meeting, convened to deal with the WTF leadership crisis caused by the announcement of Dr. Un Yong Kim to resign on Jan. 9, 2004, also decided to convene the extraordinary General Assembly on the occasion of the 5th World Junior Championships to be held in Sunchon, Korea, on June 12-18, 2004, to elect a new WTF President. However, the exact date of holding the special Assembly has yet to be decided.
Before electing Park as the Acting President, the attendants made a decision through a vote on whether Dr. Kim’s resignation announced earlier through press conference should be accepted or not. In the vote, 18 supported to accept his resignation while four opposed to it, three abstained and three others remained non-committal.
The election in the Executive Council, the highest decision-making body of the WTF, stood for the first-ever change of command in the leadership of the organization since its establishment in 1973. Park will play a role of WTF Acting President until the convocation of the extraordinary General Assembly in June in which a new leader, to complete Dr. Kim’s remaining term of office, will be elected.
Before concluding the meeting, the attendants unanimously designated Dr. Kim as WTF Honorary President in recognition of his contribution to the development of the sport.
Out of six Vice Presidents, five attended the meeting. They are Park who was elected Acting President; William Hybl, former president of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC); Nat Indrapana, Thai IOC member; Sang Lee, former president of the United States Taekwondo Union and Cha Sok Park, President of Pan-Am Taekwondo Union.