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Australian Kim Jong Un impersonator kicked out of Vietnam after 'summit'

By Elizabeth Shim
Australian Kim Jong Un impersonator kicked out of Vietnam after 'summit'
Kim Jong Un impersonator Howard X at the Opera House in Hanoi, Vietnam on Friday. Photo by Luong Thai Linh/EPA-EFE

Feb. 25 (UPI) -- An Australian man with a knack for impersonating Kim Jong Un is no longer welcome in Vietnam, where he was staging satirical summits with a Donald Trump impersonator ahead of Kim's arrival in Hanoi.

Howard X, who has been photographed and interviewed by the media, has been a source of entertainment on the streets of Singapore and at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea. Vietnamese authorities may have not been amused, however.

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The Hong Kong resident was deported on Monday, but with his sense of humor firmly intact.

"This is like, I've done it, I've managed to annoy the authorities so much that they've...they've bought me a ticket to fly out. I asked for first class, but they only gave me economy," he said in an interview on Monday with Australia's SBS.

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Howard X's satirical performances may have raised eyebrows after he staged a fake summit in Vietnam last week. BBC reported the Australian national, and Trump impersonator Russell White, a Canadian, were questioned by Vietnamese police and warned against making public jokes about the leaders.

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"For the next 2 1/2 hours, they asked for our passports and what our plans were...and then they told us that my visa was actually invalid," Howard X told SBS.

"They asked us to stop impersonating, I said 'how can we stop impersonating?' Every time I walk out of my hotel room I get a crowd around us...even when I am dressed in my normal clothing."

RELATED Kim Jong Un expected to visit industrial sites in Vietnam ahead of summit

Kim impersonation may be unacceptable in Vietnam, but the summit has been an unprecedented opportunity for Vietnamese entrepreneurs to cash in on the summit, Singapore's Today Online reported Monday.

Keychains and a bar brewing "Kim Jong Ale" are just some of the offerings in Hanoi ahead of the second meeting between Trump and Kim, according to the report.

The leaders will meet Wednesday and Thursday.

RELATED Trump expects anti-nuke progress continuation in summit with Kim

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