SYDNEY – A man impersonating North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Friday disrupted the Australian election campaign when he burst into an event that Prime Minister Scott Morrison was attending with lawmaker Gladys Liu.
The impersonator, who later identified himself by the stage name Howard X, started talking to gathered media.
“Thank you very much. Gladys Liu is the communist candidate for Australia,” he said, before he was interrupted by an aide to Morrison.
“Excuse me, you are going to have to leave. This is the most offensive thing I have ever seen in a campaign,” said the aide, Nick Creevey. The impersonator responded: “Excuse me, you don't tell the supreme leader what to do. I support Gladys Liu.”
Liu was born in Hong Kong and has lived in Australia for more than 30 years.
The disruption came at a time of heightened tensions between Australia and China, most recently over a security pact that China signed with the Solomon Islands.
Howard X, whose real name is Lee Howard Ho Wun, is well known for his impersonation of Kim Jong Un. In 2018, he was detained and questioned when he arrived in Singapore days before a summit between the North Korean leader and U.S. President Donald Trump. Media reported the impersonator was being interviewed by police on Friday.
Australia's election will be held on May 21 and early voting began this week. Opinion polls have the center-left opposition Labor Party tracking ahead of Morrison's conservative coalition.