Fake news: Kim, Trump lookalikes commit to 'peace'

Last Updated 22 February 2019, 11:35 IST

Heavily bronzed and freshly coiffed, Donald Trump's doppelganger says he has come to Hanoi to meet with a Kim Jong Un lookalike to end North Korea's nuclear ambitions, and maybe play a bit of golf.

"We're working toward peace. Through negotiations, with dialogue, we want to help North Korea of course," said Trump impersonator Russell White, in a sharp suit and blue tie.

White and Kim impersonator Howard X are in Hanoi days before a meeting between the real leaders of the United States and North Korea, who will hold a second summit in the Vietnamese capital on February 27-28.

Though the agenda for the planned summit has not been released, Howard X says he has a few aims for his pow-wow with the fake Trump.

"Hopefully he can overlook all my nuclear missiles and lift the sanctions," said the full-time impersonator, who also visited Singapore ahead of the leaders' meeting last year.

The men have a few non-official agenda items this week too -- maybe a massage parlour, a round of golf and hopefully a chance to try some of Hanoi's culinary delights.

Out of character, the pair say they can make good money as impersonators -- as long as Kim and Trump are in the news.

"The good thing for Kim is he's always doing something interesting, also Trump," said Howard X, who charges a minimum of $3,500 for an appearance and says he once walked away with $15,000 for a gig.

But the work can be burdensome.

Howard X says it takes him three hours to perfect the Kim look: carefully manicured hair, thick black glasses and suits from a top tailor in Hong Kong where he is based.

Though he's mastered the get-up, he's not entirely happy about it.

"Mr Kim please get a proper haircut, this sucks," he said, standing on the steps of Hanoi's colonial-era Opera House with black-clad bodyguards and a swarm of media.

As for White, it only takes him 20 minutes to bronze his face -- excluding his under eyes -- and gel his blonde hair to look like the man he says is doing a great job.

"You're doing a difficult job, keep up the good work, we're going to make America great again," the full-time, Canadian-born impersonator said.

The pair say they are looking for a few more impersonators to complete their band of "tyrants", calling for any lookalikes of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, China's Xi Jinping or Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to come forward.

(Published 22 February 2019, 11:33 IST)

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