There will be no funny business ahead of the nuclear summit in Vietnam, The Independent is reporting. U.S President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un are set to meet in Hanoi on February 27 and 28 for their second summit, where they will be continuing talks on nuclear weapons. Impersonators Howard X and Russel White — who portray Kim and Trump respectively — jumped at the chance to travel to Vietnam themselves and take pictures with fans. Unfortunately, the Vietnamese government didn’t appear to be too fond of the duo’s act.
Howard X, whose real name is Lee Howard Ho Wun, made a post on his Facebook page detailing how 15 officers questioned both he and White for three hours after they had just gotten done with an interview.
“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 he 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,” Howard wrote.
Howard also alleged that an officer threatened to deport them, claiming they were breaking immigration rules. Howard said he argued with authorities that looking like a public figure was not a crime. Howard and White were then driven back to their hotel and were told to stay until authorities decided what their next steps would be. The impersonator then took to Facebook following the incident, where he went on to write that their impersonations were merely satire and that they were giving the country good press for their act.
"Hopefully he can overlook all my nuclear missiles and lift the sanctions," said the full-time impersonator, who also visited Singapore ahead of the leaders' meeting last year.#Trump #Vietnam #HanoiSummit #Fake #Impersonator https://t.co/wMuhrcmQJE
— The Peninsula (@PeninsulaQatar) February 22, 2019
“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,” wrote Howard.
This isn’t Howard’s first brush with the law in Asia, however. He was also present in Singapore for Trump and Kim’s first summit last year, and he was questioned by Singaporean immigration authorities. In addition, Howard made an appearance at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, where he had to be taken away by security after he began to dance in front of an offended North Korean cheer squad.