PYEONGCHANG – A Kim Jong Un impersonator arrived at the Korea-Japan hockey game on Wednesday, waved hello to the North Korean cheerleaders, starting waving a flag, and then was hustled out to the concourse and briefly detained.
It was the same man who made a scene at the Opening Ceremony when he appeared with a Donald Trump lookalike. On this Valentine’s Day, he showed up alone.
He gave his name as “Howard.” He said he is from Australia and lives in Hong Kong. He is not Korean, nor does he speak Korean. He told Yahoo Sports his goal was “Enjoy the game, meet the cheerleaders, which I did, and create some good political satire.”
He caused a mix of laughter and disgust among the North Korean cheerleaders. He got a decidedly less favorable reaction from the men who accosted him. The faux dictator told Yahoo Sports he was kicked multiple times in the shins, and he pulled up his overcoat to display scuff marks on his slacks.
“They shouted something in Korean, I wasn’t sure what it was,” he said, “and then the police got involved and they dragged me away – they said for my own safety.”
The scene moved to the concourse, where “Howard” was surrounded by a phalanx of police, cameramen, and the curious. “This is crazy,” he said. “What do we have, 10 policemen? What do you think I’m going to do? I don’t bring violence. I just want to see the game, so what’s the problem?”
After a few minutes, he was jostled along the concourse and toward a small room with a police sign on the door. “I will walk!” he said as he shuffled along. He entered and the door closed sharply behind him.
When he emerged, he said he was told his removal was only until the cheerleaders left the arena, and because of “some conservative people who were offended by my presence.”
He conveyed his disappointment at not being allowed to watch the remainder of the game, which had since ended. Then, as he walked slowly out of the building, he spoke of the larger geopolitical reasons for his presence.
“This is seen as the peace Olympics,” he said, “so let’s hope that peace endures and those two idiots stop launching missiles and insults at each other on Twitter.”
Asked why a Chinese man from Australia is so passionate about peace on the Korean peninsula, he stopped walking.
“I guess everybody has a cause, you know?” he said. “I have an advantage to advance this cause. I was born with this face.”
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