Hong Kong’s Kim Jong-un impersonator, known as “Howard X,” says he was detained at Singapore’s airport on Friday for two hours before being allowed to enter. He was travelling to take part in an alternative summit near to the historic meeting between US President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader set to take place next Tuesday in the city-state.

The impersonator told HKFP that the authorities at Changi Airport took him aside for questioning: “[They] asked me what my political views were and if I have been involved with protests in other countries. They knew who I was and I was told to stay away from Sentosa Island and the Shangri-La.”

Kim Jong-un impersonator “Howard X” outside Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Russia. Photo: @KimJongUnLookALike, via Facebook.

The Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island has been declared as the venue for the summit, while the Tanglin area surrounding the Shangri-La Hotel has been made an “enhanced security special event” by the Singapore Police Force.

Howard wrote on Facebook that authorities asked if he had been involved in Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Umbrella Movement protests, to which he replied “yes… because I believe in the freedom of speech and this is something to be defended.”

Singapore has been governed by the People’s Action Party (PAP) since 1959 and still exercises unlawful assembly laws to target voices of opposition.

Howard told HKFP: “I’m here to promote Singapore, so I guess it’s better to let me in then not let me in. Because otherwise the headline would be ‘Kim Jong-un impersonator gets deported from Singapore’ which is a headline that they wouldn’t want and I do know that. Although Singapore is a dictatorship, they do care about their international image and they do rely on tourism.”

“Now I’m very tempted to go to all those places that I’ve been told not to go, because I did ask them ‘is it illegal for me to go’ and they said ‘no, we’re just advising you don’t go.”

He added that his Trump lookalike sidekick had entered the city without being stopped.

Photo: Dennis Alan as Donald Trump and Howard X as Kim Jong-un. Photo: Gary Tyson @KimJongUnLookALike, via Facebook.

The lookalike is a frequent appearance at rallies in Hong Kong.

He previously turned up at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February alongside a President Trump impersonator – however, he was taken away from the Olympic venue by police, according to the Japan Times.

The Trump-Kim duo have been hired by a Singapore hotel to host their own take on the summit next Tuesday. Howard wrote: “Anyway I am here now so be prepared for some fun during this historical moment in the finest dictatorship in the world.”

HKFP contacted Singapore’s airport for comment.

Jennifer Creery

Jennifer Creery is a Hong Kong-born British journalist, interested in minority rights and urban planning. She holds a BA in English at King's College London and has studied Mandarin at National Taiwan University.