It was comments from relatively new national security adviser John Bolton that gave the North Koreans an excuse to pull out.
A mis-timed reference to the ‘Libya model’ of denuclearisation in 2003 was interpreted as a US threat to topple Mr Kim, Gaddafi style.
Mr Trump then doubled down, suggesting total decimation would befall North Korea if a deal was not made, and Vice-President Mike Pence weighed in saying North Korea “may end like Libya”.
It was a return to “fire and fury”.
Top aide to Mr Kim, Choe Son-hui described the Vice-President’s remarks as “ignorant and stupid”.