Kim Jong Un impersonator 'deported from Vietnam' ahead of summit
A Kim Jong Un impersonator claims he is being deported from Vietnam as the real North Korean leader arrives in the south-east Asian country for a summit with US President Donald Trump.
The lookalike, an Australian who lives in Hong Kong and goes by the name Howard X, had been holding mock meetings with a Trump doppelganger around the Vietnamese capital before allegedly being "interrogated" and subsequently kicked out of the country.
"The official reason is because my visa was invalid, however my real crime was looking like the president of North Korea," wrote Howard X in a Facebook post on Sunday.
On Friday he published a lengthy Facebook post describing a "mandatory interview" at the hands of Vietnamese police at a national television station.
Howard X and Trump impersonator Russel White were invited to film a TV appearance, he said, before "15 police or immigration officers" arrived to speak with the pair.
After refusing to comply with demands to cease the impersonation act, police reportedly said Howard X was breaking immigration laws for obtaining a visa through a travel agency which is not "recognised".
"My reply to this ridiculous threat to deport me for giving interviews and 'breaking' immigration law for not having the right papers was that they were just looking for an excuse to threaten me for doing my impersonation in public," Howard X wrote.
He went on to slam the authorities for making the country "look backwards and stupid" for shutting down satire.
"As I am writing this entry, there is police officer stationed right outside my hotel to track our movements. Come on really? Are we living in 2019 or 1984?" he added.
Vietnamese authorities did not respond to requests for comment.
Howard X was pictured giving a faux-emotional goodbye to his partner in impersonations, White, who has reportedly been allowed to stay in the country on the condition that he does not appear in public in costume.
Earlier in February Howard X made headlines and drew huge crowds touring Hong Kong with a doppelganger of Philippine leader Rodrgio Duterte.
He also visited Singapore for the last Trump-Kim summit in June 2018, where he said authorities kept a close eye on his movements but "were a lot more subtle about it".
"It just proves that all dictatorships fear any forms of satire, even something as trivial as an impersonator," he added.