Kim Jong Un impersonator kicked out of Vietnam ahead of summit with Trump

By Christopher Brito

/ CBS News

A Kim Jong Un impersonator has been deported from Vietnam ahead of the real North Korean leader's high stakes summit with President Trump this week, according to CBS News partner network BBC News. The Hong Kong-based imitator who goes by the name, Howard X, left Hanoi Monday.

Over the last week, the Chinese-Australian doppelganger, along with Trump imitator Russell White, have been photographed around Vietnam while staging a fake summit. Vietnamese police detained both impersonators for questioning on Friday after a local television interview and told them to stop the political satire.

On Monday, however, Howard X was told he had to leave the country because his visa was "invalid," despite his insistence that he was in Vietnam legally. He said the real reason for his forced departure was, being "born with a face and looking like Kim Jong Un, that's the real crime."

Getting a goodbye kiss from Trump (Russell White) at my deportation of Vietnam. I was personally escorted from my hotel…

Posted by Kim Jong "UM" "Howard" Kim Jong Un 김정은 Lookalike/Impersonator A貨金正恩 冒牌金正恩 on Sunday, February 24, 2019

White, who hails from Canada, was originally asked to leave as well, but Vietnamese authorities changed their minds. Howard X took one last photo op with White, giving each other one last kiss at Noi Bai international airport.

"Satire is a powerful weapon against any dictatorship," Howard X said. "They are scared of a couple of guys that look like the real thing."

During their fake summit, White, as Mr. Trump, said he and his counterpart were working toward "peace." Howard X, while pretending to be Kim, said he was hopeful the U.S. would "overlook all my nuclear missiles and lift the sanctions."

Kim Jong Doppelganger 17 photos

This wasn't the first time Howard X has made global headlines. He was in Singapore when Mr. Trump and Kim held their first summit last summer and attended the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Mr. Trump was scheduled to leave the U.S. on Monday and Kim was expected to arrive in Vietnam later the same day. The talks will focus again on Kim's nuclear arsenal, but the Trump administration appeared to be lowering its expectations ahead of the second summit in less than a year.

"We have a special feeling…I think it's gonna lead to something good. But maybe not," Mr. Trump told a gathering of U.S. governors on Sunday night. The president said he was no longer pushing North Korea to quickly give up its nuclear weapons.

Trump "not in a rush" to push Kim Jong Un to give up nuclear weapons

"I'm not in a rush. I don't want to rush anybody. I just don't want testing," he said.

First published on February 25, 2019 / 9:21 AM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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