United States President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un are set to arrive in Hanoi, Vietnam, next week for a second summit. But their impersonators have already reached the capital, and even staged a meeting on Friday, February 22. While the duo is known to be quite a rage, the Hanoi police did not take the meeting too kindly and detained the duo for questioning.
Trump's doppleganger Russell White and Kim's impersonator Howard X reportedly staged a meeting in downtown Hanoi and were giving an interview to a local TV station, when they were warned by the police. The duo was told to stop talking to the media, failing which they would be deported.
The two impersonators had earlier also spoken to the media at Hanoi's Metropole hotel and Opera House and said that they intended to help build relations between the US and North Korea. Like Trump, White said that they were "working toward peace."
"Through negotiations, with dialogue, we want to help North Korea of course," the Agence France-Presse quoted him as saying, to which Howard replied thus: "Hopefully he can overlook all my nuclear missiles and lift the sanctions."
White and Howard were then taken in for questioning and were told that they could now move around in the city only with a pre-approved itinerary and a travel guide. "They basically said stop doing the impersonation or we will kick you out of the country," Howard told the AFP after he was released.
He is now in the hotel and believes that he was being monitored by the police in plain clothes. The Hong Kong resident also added that he was in Hanoi legally and would not leave unless he was deported. Discussing their plans, Howard said that he and White wanted to play golf, visit a massage parlour and try out the Vietnamese cuisine, all of which might now not be possible.
In general, White and Howard seemed to be in good spirits and even said they were looking for more look-alike to complete their band of "tyrants." The duo said that it would be great to find the dopplegangers of Russian president Vladimir Putin, China's Xi Jinping and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
This is not the first time that Trump and Kim impersonators have been seen together in public. The duo also attended the opening ceremony of 2018 Winter Olympics, where they were seen shaking hands and posing for photographs. They spoke to the press and said they were getting along very well, before being escorted out of the stadium.
"We were getting along great. We wanted to surprise everyone and bring world peace and then we were being escorted out by security guards, which I think is really unfair," Reuters quoted Howard as saying. "Doesn't everyone want peace?. Is my sister getting the same treatment."
Kim's impersonator also visited Singapore before Trump and the reclusive leader's first summit in the city on June 12, 2018. The residents of the island nation initially thought it was the North Korean leader himself and rushed to catch a glimpse of him. Some had even requested for photographs, but the joy was short-lived as people soon realised that the man was not Kim, but his doppelganger.
Speaking of Kim and how similar they looked, Howard had said that things changed for him after Kim became the leader in 2011. The similarities changed his fortune and he reportedly started a new career in films, commercials and is even invited to private functions.
"I said that guy looks a lot like me, and I thought, wow, I need to do something with this and make some money," he explained. "This is my normal body. But he's fatter, and I can't catch up ... it'll damage my health."