HANOI, Vietnam — As President Trump settled to the dining room of a French-colonial resort in Hanoi on Thursday afternoon, the conversation with Kim Jong-un, the chief with whom he’d struck up the strangest of friendships, was turning stressed.
At a dinner in the Metropole Hotel the evening before, mere feet from the bomb shelter where guests took cover during the Vietnam War, Mr. Kim had resisted what Mr. Trump posed as a grand deal: North Korea would exchange all its nuclear weapons, material and facilities for an end to the American-led sanctions squeezing its market.
An American official later described this as»a proposition to go big,» a bet by Mr. Trump his force of personality, and view of himself as a consummate dealmaker, could triumph where three previous presidents had neglected.
But Mr. Trump’s offer was essentially the same deal that the United States has pushed and the North has rejected — to get a quarter-century. Intelligence agencies had warned himpublicly, Mr. Kim wouldn’t be willing to give up the arsenal completely. North Korea itself had stated that it would only proceed gradually.
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