The president, who held onto his real estate empire after his election, said he made the business pitch to Kim in Singapore on Tuesday while showing him a flashy, Hollywood-style video that imagines North Korea with luxury high-rises and modern trains.
Trump described Kim as intrigued by the proposition.
“They have great beaches,” Trump said at a news conference following the talks between the two leaders. “You see that whenever they’re exploding the canons into the ocean. I said look at that view. Wouldn’t that make a great condo beyond that?”
“You could have the best hotels in the world right there. Think of it from a real estate perspective,” Trump continued. “You have South Korea, you have China, and they own the land in the middle. How bad is that? Right? It’s great.”
Despite Trump’s grandiose suggestions, the U.S. State Department recommends against travel to North Korea. Federal authorities advise travelers to draft a will and “funeral wishes” before going.
“The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in North Korea as it does not have diplomatic or consular relations with North Korea,” the State Department says on its website.
University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier last year died days after returning to the U.S. from North Korea, where he had been taken captive and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster while with a tour group. Doctors described him as unresponsive and unable to speak or react to verbal commands upon his return.
When Trump was asked by a reporter about his praise of Kim, who has been accused of crimes against humanity and murdering his people, Trump said the dictator’s dark past doesn’t take away from him being “very talented.”
“I don’t say he was nice,” Trump added.