Shared with permission - re: the unfortunate incident at the 2nd Korean Ambassador's Cup August 6th, 2016 at the Washington DC Convention Center. Many thanks to GM Suk Jung Kim for standing up for the principle here.
Suk Jung Kim I had hoped not to make a public comments, but when a respectable newspaper (, writes an article with wrong information and false accusations again me and my fellow referees, as a referee chair of this event, I believe I have the responsibility to set the record straight.
I am amazed at the lack of professionalism this reporter (Chang Yeol Lee of Korea Times -DC) showed in writing about the referees without talking to any one of the referees who was present at the meeting.
The article stating that 36 of 47 referees did not return to the competition because we wanted more money, that is totally FALSE, as stated by many of referees who was present at the meeting.

As a formal officer of the US Army, I am a firm believer in an After Action Review, I have asked all, especially senior referees for testimonials/review. I am consolidating them and hope to have formal write up as soon as possible. Referees, if you have not submitted review, please send it to me as soon as possible. I wish I had Jeannette Woodward present to consolidate the report as she does for TRUE but I have next best in Shawn McDermott, who involuntarily volunteered to help. :-)
It is essential that we learned from the mistakes from this event and move forward. Following are my thoughts:
Tournament Promotors/Director/Organizer: Keep your promise and be honest. Many of us officiated at the Collegiates, we volunteer, fly at our cost, know there is no honorarium, because they ask for our help and know all the money raised goes to the athletes. Respect the game, can not believe the Korean Folk Music band marched right through the competition area and settled in where World class poomsae competition was on going. Respect and sincerity goes a long way..
Referees are not commodity of the tournament director, we are there to officiate best to our ability and ensure safety is the upmost priority. I had over 20+ International Referees including USAT vice chair to help. All others were USAT certified referees, most of them refereed at the Nationals. The technical advisors were current PATU referee chair, formal referee chair of Korea, and World Championship Judge. We had prepared a great team, I am sorry we did not get to demonstrate that.. No referees wanted the see this result, I as the referee chair take full responsibility of our action, I made the final decision.
Parents/Athletes/Coaches, please do not make a quick judgement without hearing both side of the story. I keep reading one gentleman's comments in fb and I wondered if he would say same thing if he saw what we experienced. I had my students at the event and it was one of the most difficult decision I had to make as a referee.
We have the most knowledgeable parents, coaches and athletes this time than any other time I can remember. They know the rules and don't waste anytime letting referees know about it. Demand same quality from the tournaments you or your kids attend.
Finally, referees, parents, coaches, athletes, Masters and Grandmasters, please do not give up on the Ambassador Cup. It can and it should be the premier event in the east coast if not entire US every two years. Where can you find an event that is supported by Office of Korean Embassy, Governor's office, and DC Mayor's office. Sponsorship from Korea Foreign Affairs Department, Samsung, Korean Air, and many others. Let's all work together to make it better not obsolete. Thank you!
미주 한국일보 : 태권도 열기, 워싱턴 DC 달궜다