North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump stopped slinging insults at each other long enough to enjoy a friendly romp around the Olympic Stadium in PyeongChang, South Korea, on Friday. Or at least, that's how it looked at first glance. In reality, neither world leader is in attendance at the Olympics. Rather, two men impersonating Trump and Kim ended up being escorted from the Olympics opening ceremony after their presence began to cause quite the commotion.
While the impersonators certainly spurred a few laughs, their appearance may have been more about raising awareness than making a joke. "We wanted to surprise everyone and bring world peace and then we're being escorted out by security guards, which I think is really unfair," the man impersonating Kim said, according to Reuters. "Doesn’t everyone want peace?"
The man impersonating Kim is believed to be the Hong Kong-based Australian professional impersonator who goes simply by the name Howard. According to the Telegraph, Trump is believed to have been played by 67-year-old American musician Dennis Alan.
"What we'd like to achieve by coming to South Korea, at the Winter Olympics, is to show the world this is what peace can look like when two leaders get along," Howard told Reuters. "We get along personally, so I believe Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, if they talk, they'd probably get along."
Howard went on to say he thought the two leaders were "pretty much the same person" and would thus likely get along if they attempted to have a dialogue. "Dennis Rodman has confirmed this and he's met both of them personally," Kim said. Rodman, a former NBA player has traveled to North Korea and met with Kim multiple times.
"So let's start talking and stop with all the missiles and everything else," Howard said. "We want peace, everybody wants peace, nobody wants war."
But while Howard and Alan may consider themselves to be friends, Trump and Kim's relationship has been considerably more tense. Since Trump took office, the two have traded insults and threats. In November, a spokesperson for North Korea's Foreign Ministry said, "the reckless remarks by a dotard like Trump can never frighten us or put a stop to our advance," according to North Korean state news agency KCNA. The statement was a response to a speech Trump had given to South Korea's National Assembly, in which he'd warned Pyongyang not to underestimate the United States. According to Vox, the word dotard translates in Korean to mean "old lunatic."
But Pyongyang's remark didn't appear to sit well with Trump. "Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me 'old,' when I would NEVER call him 'short and fat?'" the U.S. president wrote in a tweet published last November. "Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend - and maybe someday that will happen!"
Most recently, President Trump took to social media to brag that his "Nuclear Button" was "much bigger and more powerful" than any North Korea's leader might possess. "And my Button works," Trump declared in a tweet posted in early January. Trump has also previously referred to Kim as "Little Rocket Man" on multiple occasions.
Just as the fraught relationship between the real Trump and Kim often causes a stir in the media, the men impersonating the world leaders caused a stir of their own in PyeongChang. The two impersonators were escorted from the stadium by security because of the commotion and attention they were generating, according to Yahoo! Sports.
While this isn't the first time Howard and Alan have appeared together in public as Kim and Trump, it's unclear if the two impersonators have plans to appear at any other Olympic events.