By Alex Jensen
SEOUL (AA) – Security in Singapore has already been tested before the island nation hosts next week’s unprecedented U.S.-North Korea summit as Friday saw local officials interrogate two South Korean journalists and a Kim Jong-un impersonator.
The two reporters were questioned by police for allegedly trespassing at the North Korean ambassador’s residence in the Southeast Asian city state, according to the South’s public broadcaster KBS.
While awaiting the outcome of a police probe, KBS issued an apology for failing to ensure its journalists reflected the sensitive nature of the June 12 meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and the North’s Chairman Kim.
The issue was even discussed by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who has played the role of peacemaker in trying to smooth over obstacles that earlier threatened to derail the unprecedented summit, which is set to be covered by over 300 reporters from South Korea alone.
Seoul’s presidential office asked local media to show restraint, also citing Singapore’s strict law enforcement.
Meanwhile, the summit host witnessed the arrival Friday of the same Kim Jong-un impersonator who drew headlines at February’s PyeongChang Winter Olympics. The Hong Kong-based entertainer, who goes by the name Howard X, was ejected from one of the Olympic venues in South Korea for performing next to a North Korean cheering squad.
He was temporarily held at Singapore’s Changi Airport before being released and allowed to stroll around Merlion Park later in the day with a counterpart pretending to be U.S. President Donald Trump.
“I feel they were trying to intimidate me. But if I got deported, it would have been big news,” Howard X told Bloomberg News.
He was apparently let go after around two hours but was warned to avoid areas designated as special zones for next Tuesday’s summit.
North Korea is highly sensitive about negative portrayals of its leader, whose family has ruled the authoritarian state since it was established in 1948.