By credibly threatening the USA with nuclear war, he won a one-on-one meeting with the American president - a longtime strategic goal of his family's regime. And that's not all. He toughened up global sanctions to further isolate North Korea and then agreed to meet directly with Kim after South Korea's president convinced him that the North was committed to giving up its nuclear weapons. Would you get out of Syria?
Using the military exercises as a massive negotiating chip in exchange for the North denuclearizing is a pretty orthodox policy proposal, but it stunned nearly everybody that Trump seemed to be giving this away for free after his meeting.
Mr Trump's affinity for dealing one on one with strongmen was particularly stark after the messy bust-up with his G7 allies en-route to the summit. First, we are already in Hour Twenty of Take-a-Palooza, and I can sense people heading for the exits.
South Korea and the U.S. forces themselves were shocked by the news, but North Korea and China both seized on this concession. "I think they will be continued for a while".
After seeing a clip of the rant, Mr Trump tweeted: "I watched him last night, and truly believe he may be punch-drunk". It called the summit "dumbfounding and nonsensical", and said it will allow North Korea to permanently maintain its nuclear weapons program.
The Trump administration is suggesting the DPRK, or the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, model its future on paths taken by Singapore in the 1960s, Deng Xiaoping's China in the 1970s and Russian Federation under perestroika in the 1980s, in which closed authoritarian systems opened up under contiguous leadership (with less success in Russian Federation, where the Soviet Union ultimately fell to a kleptocratic system run by the same network of men).
"I'm not for Russian Federation, I'm for the United States", Trump said. "Kim Jong-un wants to stay in power and needs to open up a little for that to happen", Sherman said in a discussion with former US State Department official Daniel Russel at the New York-based Asia Society Policy Institute.
Michael McFaul, who served as president Barack Obama's ambassador to Russian Federation, said on Twitter after the document was released that the U.S. "gave up a lot for nothing" with the summit and got "much, much less than a binding deal". But it's not true that his predecessors couldn't have entered a summit with Kim's father or grandfather had they chosen to. Mr Trump made clear he was keeping United States sanctions in place until he saw evidence of a reduced nuclear threat.
Photos of Kim standing side-by-side with Trump on the world stage were splashed across newspapers.
But the summit did have all of the trappings Mr Kim could have desired.
At the same time, Trump has been quick to criticize USA allies, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, with whom he'd met at the G-7 summit just before departing for Singapore. If they do, then all kudos to them.
Pompeo had told reporters on Wednesday that the North Korean nuclear disarmament could take two years to complete.
The president's remarks about North Korea no longer being a threat were echoed Thursday by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who said the Trump-Kim summit meant the world had escaped the threat of war.
While Trump was facing questions at home and among allies about whether he gave away too much in return for too little, North Korean state media heralded claims of a victorious meeting with the US president. He said the US was hopeful North Korea would take "major" disarmament steps before the end of Trump's first term in office, which concludes in January 2021.
Pompeo contradicted some claims from North Korean state media about what the process would look like.
Moon later said South Korea would be flexible when it comes to military pressure on North Korea if it is honest about denuclearization.