As the US President attempted to cajole the North Korean leader into giving up his country’s nuclear weapons, he showed the despot a Hollywood-style movie trailer in which Kim was presented as an action hero.
And the four-minute clip included a celebrity notable cameo – from none other than Sylvester Stallone.
The Rocky star popped up in footage of a White House meeting with the President during a medley of clips designed to show the possibilities that could be opened up to the hermit nation in the future should they choose to denuclearise.
Stallone’s trip to the Oval Office, along with champion boxer Lennox Lewis, took place in May to mark Trump’s posthumous pardon of boxer Jack Johnson.
It is not clear why this particular moment was featured in Trump’s diplomatic film.
The President showed the trailer to a press conference following the talks with his counterpart.
He told reporters: ‘That was a tape that we gave to Chairman Kim and his people, his representatives. And it captures a lot, captures what can be done.’
A stirring voiceover speaks over the footage, calling the summit ‘a special moment in time when a man is presented with one chance that may never be repeated. What will he choose? To show vision and leadership? Or not?’
The video features a montage of missiles flying through the air, followed by a series of explosions, in a move that has been seen as ill-judged.
Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of the Nobel Prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, tweeted her disbelief at the choice.
What is this??? Is that really a ICBM in the beginning of the movie?
They would not do that, would they? Would they? https://t.co/JebGQLvKXQ
— Beatrice Fihn (@BeaFihn) June 12, 2018
After playing the clip to the assembled press, Mr Trump described some of his hopes for the future of North Korea.
‘They have great beaches,’ he said.
‘You see that whenever they’re exploding the cannons into the ocean, right?
‘So I said, “Boy, look at that beach. Wouldn’t that make a great condo behind” – and I explained it.
‘I said, “Instead of doing that you could have the best hotels in the world right there.” Think of it from a real estate perspective.’
Critics have said that the trailer glosses over North Korea’s record of human rights abuses, and that there is a danger it will be used by Kim to legitimise his authoritarian regime.
Donald Trump was not expected to put pressure on Kim Jong Un over human rights at their summit.
Despite telling Congress: “No regime has oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally than the cruel dictatorship in North Korea,” the US president was expected to focus on nuclear weapons.
Meanwhile his autocratic counterpart’s international standing is likely to be boosted regardless of the outcome.
In the run-up to Tuesday’s historic face-to-face meeting with Mr Kim, Mr Trump appeared unconcerned about the implications of feting the authoritarian leader.
Mr Kim is suspected of ordering the public assassination of his half-brother with a nerve agent, executing his uncle by firing squad and presiding over a notorious gulag estimated to hold 80,000 to 120,000 political prisoners.
Mr Trump highlighted Pyongyang’s problematic human rights record in January during his State of the Union address, where he also said the “depraved character of the North Korean regime” demonstrated the nature of the nuclear threat it could pose.
However the president has skirted those concerns since agreeing in March to Mr Kim’s suggestion of a summit.