(NEW YORK) — The leader of the hermit kingdom walks down the streets of Seoul, South Korea. People passing by stop and take another look at the man who is absolutely not supposed to be in Seoul.
But, of course, this man is not the North Korean leader who lives in Pyongyang. This is his impersonator, Dragon Kim.
Dragon Kim, whose real name is Minyong Kim, has copied the looks of Kim Jong Un in detail.
He dresses in a navy blue suit resembling the uniform for North Korea’s People’s Party; sports a similar haircut as the leader in Pyongyang; and works to imitate Kim Jong Un’s facial expressions and gait as well.
Dragon Kim was born and raised in South Korea. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is multilingual, able to speak English, Korean, Japanese and Chinese. He currently runs an agency that helps place South Korean students in schools abroad.
Kim said that it was when he served in the South Korean military that his fellow service members “told me I looked similar to Kim Jong Un.”
Then in 2014 while he was working at an English language institute, he ordered a Kim Jong Un costume to wear for Halloween. The Hongdae district, one of the most crowded tourist spots in Seoul, was in high spirits with the unexpected entrance of the North Korean leader that Halloween.
Facebook and Twitter got flooded with pictures and videos of Kim. And, since then, some people call Dragon Kim the ‘Hongdae Kim Jong Un.’
Since that debut as a Kim Jong Un impersonator, Kim has been active in front of the camera. He modelled in an online commercial for an air purifier the following year and has made guest appearances in soap operas and music videos.
In April, Kim showed up as a special guest on a talk show in South Korea for North Korean defectors. The show, called “On My Way to Meet You,” invites defectors living in South Korea to open up about their lives back in the North and how they are adapting to a new way of life in the South.
When Kim emerged, defectors appearing on the show almost jumped out of their skin. Kim entertained the audience with some of the newest dance moves and mimicked Kim Jong Un’s speaking habits.
Dragon Kim also visited New York in October and worked on a short video with the You-Tuber QPark. In this video series, Kim walked around New York City dressed as Kim Jong Un. Passersby took pictures of him and called him “the rocket guy. The video has gotten nearly 10 million hits since it was uploaded on Oct. 22.
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