HANOI, Vietnam — As President Trump settled into the dining room of a hotel in Hanoi on Thursday afternoon, the conversation with Kim Jong-un, with whom he’d struck up the oddest of friendships, the chief, turned stressed.
In a supper in the Metropole Hotel the night 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 bargain: North Korea would exchange all of its nuclear weapons, material and facilities for an end to the American-led sanctions squeezing its economy.
A official later explained this as”a proposition to go large,” a bet by Mr. Trump that his force of character, and perspective of himself as a consummate dealmaker, could succeed in which three previous presidents had failed.
But Mr. Trump’s offer was basically the exact same deal that the United States has pushed — and the North has rejected — for a quarter-century. Intelligence agencies had warned him, publicly, Mr. Kim would not be willing to give up the arsenal completely. North Korea itself had said that it would proceed slowly.
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