The big picture: The White House is now sufficiently suspicious of the intentions of Kim Jong-un — “Little Rocket Man” to Trump only eight months ago — that Pyongyang would likely have to grovel to get the president to personally re-engage.

H.R. McMaster, who was President Trump’s national security adviser at the time, thought there was a real chance the Pentagon would have to confront Kim Jong-un militarily.

The U.S. was preparing for military contingencies with enough specificity that spooked the South Koreans, who were worried enough that they brokered the conversations with the North that led to the summit offer.