Tensions are running high in the Vietnamese capital, where this year’s first meeting of the US President and North Korean dictator is set to take place next week. To lighten the mood ahead of the much-anticipated event, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un impersonators have descended on Hanoi to the delight of local media and onlookers.
However, not everyone was impressed by the doppelgangers’ appearance in the city. Kim Jong-un lookalike, who recently wandered around Hanoi with a Trump impersonator, says Vietnam has demanded that he stop performing stunts that may cause “disturbances” ahead of an upcoming US-North Korea summit.
Hong Kong-born Howard X, who impersonates Kim, told his Facebook fans that he and Trump impersonator Russell White were interrogated by Vietnamese police officers on Friday, just after their interview with a local TV station.
The pair were interviewed separately, with officers asking for their IDs and visas. “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,’” the Kim lookalike said.
Police then suggested that they should stop appearing in public as “these presidents have many enemies, and that it was for our own safety,” he added.
Officers also threatened to deport Howard X because a travel agency that helped him to obtain a Vietnamese visa had broken immigration laws. He reluctantly signed a formal agreement to not give interviews or do any impersonations in public.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom, however. Police and security staff asked the lookalikes to pose with them for a photo after the two-and-a-half-hour interview. This failed to ease tensions though, as the Australian actor produced a flurry of angry outbursts in the wake of the incident.
“We are creating good satire and giving your country an extra week of positive free press around the world before the real summit. You should be paying us and rolling out the red carpet instead! Just look at the media,” he wrote.
“As I am writing this entry, there is a police officer stationed right outside my hotel to track our movements. Come on really? Are we living in 2019 or 1984?” he asked.
Vietnam, however, is not the only country where the doppelganger has run into trouble. Last year, he was questioned on his arrival in Singapore, where local authorities searched his bags and told him to stay away from Sentosa Island – the venue for the first-ever meeting between a US President and a North Korean dictator.