Sun, Jun 10, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Kim Jong-un impersonator questioned in Singapore

AP and AFP, SINGAPORE

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un impersonator Howard X, left, and US President Donald Trump impersonator Dennis Alan make an appearance at Bugis Junction shopping mall in Singapore yesterday.

Photo: EPA

A lookalike of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was detained and questioned upon his arrival in Singapore on Friday, days before a summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump.

The Hong Kong-based impersonator, who uses the name Howard X, is in the city-state for summit-related promotions by a mall and seafood restaurant.

The police officers who stopped him at Singapore’s Changi Airport searched his bags and questioned him for about two hours before letting him go, he said, adding that he was told to stay away from Sentosa Island and the Shangri-La Hotel.

Kim and Trump are to meet on Tuesday at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island and Trump is expected to stay at the Shangri-La during his visit to Singapore.

The impersonator, whose real name is Lee Howard Ho Wun (李浩宏), said police asked if he had been involved in protests around the world, including those by pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong. He said he told them he had been at the scene of Hong Kong demonstrations as a musician playing the drums.

“However, I never rioted and don’t plan to ever riot. I told him [the police officer] that I ... would never do this in Singapore because it is against your rules to protest,” Lee said.

Wun was interviewed for about 45 minutes, the Singaporean Immigration and Checkpoints Authority said in a statement.

“As part of the immigration clearance process, travelers to Singapore might be subject to additional interviews and/or screening. These procedures are conducted at all Singapore’s checkpoints,” the authority said.

Demonstrations in Singapore can only be held in a designated area, the 0.9 hectare Hong Lim Park, and require park approval. All other gatherings require a police permit.

Later on Friday, Howard X and Dennis Alan, a Trump impersonator, held hands and walked around Merlion Park, a popular tourist destination. They posed with mock chili and black pepper crab dishes and took photographs with curious passers-by.

“I’m here to stay. I don’t think they will try and kick out the president. It wouldn’t be good press for Singapore,” Lee said.

“Nobody started talking about a meeting between Kim Jong Un and President Trump until we suggested it at the Olympics,” Alan added, referring to their appearance at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February.

“It all started with us. If there’s a peace prize that anybody should get, we should get it,” he quipped.

Meanwhile, flamboyant former US basketball star Dennis Rodman on Friday said he would fly to Singapore to support his “friends” Trump and Kim at their historic peace summit.

His tweet came after the White House on Thursday ruled out any role for the high-profile retired player in the hotly anticipated talks with the North Korean leader, with whom Rodman has struck up an unlikely friendship.

Rodman has made five trips to Pyongyang since Kim took power and once called him his “friend for life.”

“Thanks to my loyal sponsors from @potcoin and my team at @Prince_Mrketing, I will be flying to Singapore for the historical Summit,” the former Chicago Bulls forward tweeted.

“I’ll give whatever support is needed to my friends, @realDonaldTrump and Marshall Kim Jong Un.”

Cannabis cryptocurrency PotCoin also sponsored Rodman to visit North Korea last year.

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