Kim, Trump impersonators draw ire of Vietnam's authorities

 
 
Posted2/23/2019 7:00 AM
hello
  • U.S. President Donald Trump impersonator Russell White, left, and Kim Jong-un impersonator Howard X pose for photos outside the Opera House in Hanoi, Vietnam, Friday, Feb. 22, 2019. The second summit between Trump and Kim will take place in Hanoi on Feb. 27 and 28.

    U.S. President Donald Trump impersonator Russell White, left, and Kim Jong-un impersonator Howard X pose for photos outside the Opera House in Hanoi, Vietnam, Friday, Feb. 22, 2019. The second summit between Trump and Kim will take place in Hanoi on Feb. 27 and 28. Associated Press

  • U.S. Donald Trump impersonator Russell White, two right, and North Korea leader Kim Jong-un impersonator Howard X, second left, pose for photos outside the Opera House in Hanoi, Vietnam, Friday, Feb. 22, 2019. The second summit between  Trump and Kim will take place in Hanoi on Feb. 27 and 28.

    U.S. Donald Trump impersonator Russell White, two right, and North Korea leader Kim Jong-un impersonator Howard X, second left, pose for photos outside the Opera House in Hanoi, Vietnam, Friday, Feb. 22, 2019. The second summit between Trump and Kim will take place in Hanoi on Feb. 27 and 28. Associated Press

  • U.S. President Donald Trump impersonator Russell White, left, and Kim Jong-un impersonator Howard X pose for photos outside the Opera House in Hanoi, Vietnam, Friday, Feb. 22, 2019. The second summit between Trump and Kim will take place in Hanoi on Feb. 27 and 28.

    U.S. President Donald Trump impersonator Russell White, left, and Kim Jong-un impersonator Howard X pose for photos outside the Opera House in Hanoi, Vietnam, Friday, Feb. 22, 2019. The second summit between Trump and Kim will take place in Hanoi on Feb. 27 and 28. Associated Press

  • U.S. President Donald Trump impersonator Russell White, center, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un impersonator Howard X pose for photos outside the Opera House in Hanoi, Vietnam, Friday, Feb. 22, 2019. The second summit between Trump and Kim will take place in Hanoi on Feb. 27 and 28.

    U.S. President Donald Trump impersonator Russell White, center, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un impersonator Howard X pose for photos outside the Opera House in Hanoi, Vietnam, Friday, Feb. 22, 2019. The second summit between Trump and Kim will take place in Hanoi on Feb. 27 and 28. Associated Press

  • U.S. President Donald Trump impersonator Russell White, center left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un impersonator Howard X pose for photos outside the Opera House in Hanoi, Vietnam, Friday, Feb. 22, 2019. The second summit between Trump and Kim will take place in Hanoi on Feb. 27 and 28.

    U.S. President Donald Trump impersonator Russell White, center left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un impersonator Howard X pose for photos outside the Opera House in Hanoi, Vietnam, Friday, Feb. 22, 2019. The second summit between Trump and Kim will take place in Hanoi on Feb. 27 and 28. Associated Press

  • U.S. President Donald Trump impersonator Russell White, center right, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un impersonator Howard X pose for photos outside the Opera House in Hanoi, Vietnam, Friday, Feb. 22, 2019. The second summit between Trump and Kim will take place in Hanoi on Feb. 27 and 28.

    U.S. President Donald Trump impersonator Russell White, center right, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un impersonator Howard X pose for photos outside the Opera House in Hanoi, Vietnam, Friday, Feb. 22, 2019. The second summit between Trump and Kim will take place in Hanoi on Feb. 27 and 28. Associated Press

HANOI, Vietnam -- Vietnamese authorities are not amused by the antics of two impersonators of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump.

The duo has been making rounds of Hanoi, taking pictures with curious onlookers ahead of the second summit of the two leaders next week.

However, on late Friday, a Kim lookalike, the Hong Kong-based impersonator who uses the name Howard X, posted on Facebook that about 15 police or immigration officers demanded a mandatory "interview" with them following a talk they gave at the state-run VTV1 channel.

"They then said that this was a very sensitive time in the city due to the Trump/Kim summit and that our impersonation was causing a 'disturbance' and ... suggested that we do not do the impersonation in public for the duration of our stay as these presidents have many enemies and that it was for our own safety."

According to Howard X, there was a back-and-forth with an unnamed Vietnamese officer who "did not seem pleased with my answer" and threatened the impersonators with deportation, saying they were breaking immigration rules. Finally, he said they were driven back to their hotel and told to stay put until authorities decide how to treat them.

"Although I am not surprised that I got detained for doing my impersonation in Vietnam, it's still pretty annoying. What it shows is that Vietnam has a long way to go before they will be a developed country and I wonder if they ever will under these conditions," he wrote on his Facebook page. "If the Vietnamese authorities are willing to give this kind of harassment over something as trivial as an impersonation to a high profile foreigner, imagine what all the Vietnamese artists, musicians, film producers and all the political activists have to endure for simply wanting to release a controversial film, songs or for simply speaking up about real injustices in this country."

Vietnam is a tightly controlled communist country that tolerates no dissent.

Howard X was also questioned by Singaporean immigration authorities when he and his colleague appeared in the city-state for the first Kim-Trump summit last June.

The impersonator's real name is Lee Howard Ho Wun.

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.