“Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn’t do that,” he said. “We had to walk away from that.”

Hours later, two senior members of the North’s delegation told reporters that was not what Kim had demanded. They insisted Kim had asked only for partial sanctions relief in exchange for shutting down the North’s main nuclear complex. Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said the North was also ready to offer in writing a permanent halt of the country’s nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests.

Vice Foreign Minister Choe Sun Hui said Trump’s reaction puzzled Kim and added that Kim “may have lost his will (to continue) North Korea-U.S. dealings.”