The Olympics are all about watching the world's best athletes travel far and wide to compete in the games — contentious world politics are often put aside while celebrating the international sporting event. However, that didn't stop some people from making a political statement at the Olympics in PyeongChang. According to Business Insider, a Trump and Kim Jong-un impersonator at the Olympic opening ceremony were kicked out, and Twitter is obsessed.
Though it is unclear what the impersonators were doing to stir trouble, The New York Times reporter Andrew Keh tweeted they "caused a big commotion in one section of the Olympic stands" before being removed. Despite the initial confusion, the impersonators later explained in an interview with Reuters that they were hoping to promote peace, and inspire the real-life world leaders to get along. "We want peace. Everybody wants peace. Nobody wants war," the Kim Jong-un impersonator said.
To the impersonators' credit, their costumes and haircuts were pretty spot on compared to their real life counterparts. And their message of peace was well-intentioned and uplifting. Despite how nice the sentiment of getting along was, though, the relations between the two world leaders IRL is much more complicated. Even before Trump was sworn in as U.S. president in January 2017, he was tweeting about North Korea, Kim Jong-un, and the country's nuclear program. Tensions escalated between the two world leaders over the summer, and Trump's comments directed at Kim Jong-un have become even more off-the-wall throughout the year: In a United Nations speech this past September, Trump called Kim Jong-un "Rocket Man," and said the North Korean dictator was on a "suicide mission." In response, Kim Jong-un called Trump a "dotard," and made a lengthy threat against him. Additionally, Trump caused a frenzy after he told The Wall Street Journal in a January interview he probably has “a very good relationship with Kim Jong-un,” despite their past interactions, and lack of diplomatic efforts. To call the relationship between the real Trump and Kim Jong-un "complicated" is an understatement.
Furthermore, even a fake Kim Jong-un contributes to the outrage already surrounding the presence of North Korean athletes in Pyeongchang. Around the same time the world leader impersonators were kicked out, The Associated Press reported around 800 protesters gathered outside the Olympic stadium contesting North Korea's participation in the 2018 winter games. Many of the protesters reportedly burned North Korean flags, as well as pictures of Kim Jong-un. According to Reuters, one sign had a wartime request to Trump, reading, “Mr President. North Korea bombing, please.”
North Korea and South Korea have a long history of tension, dating all the way back to the Korean War that began in 1950, and ended in 1953. The tension between the bordering countries only increased in 2017, as North Korea's missile program has put South Korea, and the U.S. on edge. According to CNN, North Korea has conducted 23 missile tests since February 2018, and Kim Jong-un had tested more missiles in his six-year dictatorship than both his grandfather and father combined. Though the BBC reports North Korea's participation in the PyeongChang games is a diplomatic breakthrough in some sense, there has been no progress when it comes to nuclear and missile testing.
Given the strange, volatile, and highly-publicized (to say the least) relationship between the real life Trump and Kim Jong-Un, and the tensions between North Korea and South Korea, it's no surprise people across Twitter had thoughts about the impersonation stunt. While some people wished that the peaceful impersonators were the real life Trump and Kim Jong-un joining together to end the threat of war, others weren't as happy to see them at the Olympics at all. Here are some of the best Twitter reactions to the impersonators crashing the games: