Among DPRK Taekwon-Doists, who have devoted themselves to the development of Korea’s traditional martial art, there is Jang Kyong Ok (pictured).
Jang was born and brought up in a mountainous village of Kosong County, Kangwon Province.
She began to learn Taekwon-Do in her childhood and made her international debut at the 7th ITF Taekwon-Do World Championships held in Canada’s Montreal in 1990.
In the individual sparring of the championships, she finished runner-up to draw the attention of experts and fans and contributed to her team’s win.
Afterwards, she trained harder to hit higher goals and won gold medals in the over 70kg-division sparring and other individual and team events of the 8th championships held in the DPRK in 1992.
In the championships she distinguished herself as a Taekwon-Do star.
She put on a stellar performance at the 9th championships in Malaysia in 1994.
At that time many experts and stakeholders in the championships lauded her as Taekwon-Do queen, saying her movements were powerful and perfect and the DPRK exalted the honour as the birthplace of Taekwon-Do.
Jang won the women’s top technical prize cup and four gold medals at the championships, to be recognized as the world’s Taekwon-Do queen.
Later on, she gave full play to her power as the world’s Taekwon-Do ace at many international competitions.
In nearly a decade since her international debut she bagged 26 golds and four top technical prize cups at international competitions including five Taekwon-Do championships.
Jang is the winner of Kim Il Sung Youth Honour Prize and Labour Hero and People’s Athlete of the DPRK.
She now works as a staff member of the Korean Taekwon-Do Committee.