Kim Jong Un lookalike provokes North Koreans in Olympic melee
Pyeongchang (South Korea) (AFP)
A Kim Jong Un lookalike who has been making mischief at the Pyeongchang Olympics danced in front of North Korea's female cheerleading team before being nabbed and hauled off by police on Wednesday.
The Kim impersonator, wearing thick-rimmed glasses and dressed in all black, sparked anger when he waved at the famed "army of beauties" at an ice hockey game between the joint Korea team and Japan.
Many of the cheerleaders giggled nervously and waved back, but when the fake Kim broke into an impromptu jig all hell broke loose.
Within seconds, he was tackled by three burly security officials, thought to be North Korean, before being frog-marched by police to a room inside the arena, watched by stunned onlookers.
"I walked past the cheerleaders and waved but then three rough-looking guys, not in uniform who I suspect were North Koreans, came out of nowhere and grabbed me by the arm," the Kim double, who goes by the stage name Howard X, told AFP.
"When I waved the unified Korean flag at them they got really pissed off and started kicking me in the shins."
After getting into a shouting match with the North Korean bouncers, the Kim lookalike pointed out he could not be arrested simply for looking like North Korea's leader.
"If you don't like my face there's nothing you can do about it -- I was born this way," he protested.
However, Games security took a dim view and he was taken away by police officers.
"They didn't arrest me, I was detained," the Kim impersonator said.
"I didn't break any law. It took them a while to get a translator but they said it was for my own safety because some conservative people (in the venue) didn't appreciate my presence."
"Kim" also caused a stir at last Friday's opening ceremony in Pyeongchang.
On that occasion he and a Donald Trump lookalike sauntered nonchalantly past an accredited media section in an attempt to get near to the athletes, including the two Koreas, who marched behind the blue-and-white unification flag.
They were not able to get close to the VIP area, where American Vice President Mike Pence and the real Kim's sister Kim Yo Jong were in attendance.
Trump substitute Dennis Alan was not present at the hockey but "will be back soon", according to buddy Howard.
"This situation is totally messed up," he complained. "All I did was wave the flag. Everybody else was waving the flag. Long live democracy!"
© 2018 AFP