Now we are back to the days of the dotard, and North Korea rhetoric dramatizes fast-fading hopes for reconciliation despite a series of post-Singapore meetings Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in have held with Kim to try to get him to abandon his nuclear program before there could be sanctions relief.

Kim wants the relief to come first, or in stages, while holding on to his nukes, and after numerous warnings for the U.S. to knuckle under, the North’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) claimed the latest test would “have an important effect on changing the strategic position of the DPRK”—the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the official name for Kim’s country—“in the near future.”…

The announcement of the test was clearly a studied affront to Trump, who has frequently talked up the great relationship he formed in three meetings with Kim. Trump eventually said they had such great “chemistry” that they “fell in love.” But even before the engine test, Trump was getting the message the romance was over. Last week, he reverted to the harsh language that he used at the United Nations in September 2017 when he threatened to “totally destroy North Korea” while “rocket man” was “on a suicide mission.”