The President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-on bromance is over as their much vaunted North Korea denuclearisation talks collapsed.
The US and North Korea leader were holding a summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, that ended abruptly before lunch on a planned second day of talks.
Trump went before reporters to explain his stance.
“It was about the sanctions basically,” Trump said. “They wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn’t do that. Sometimes you must walk, and this was just one of those times.
“There is a gap. We must have sanctions. There is a gap. We must have sanctions and he wants to denuke. But he wants to just do areas that are less important than the areas that we want.”
The US and other leading world economies have imposed strict economic sanctions on Pyongyang as Kim Jong-on extended his country’s nuclear weapons arsenal.
North Korea disputed Trump’s words.
Foreign minister Ri Yong Ho explained his government had asked for a partial lifting on sanctions in return for closing a nuclear testing facility – not cancelling the blanket ban.
“The US may have wasted an opportunity that might not come again,” he said. “Our position will stay the same even if the US seeks further talks.”
How further talks may transpire seems a distant hope as the two leaders obviously could not bring themselves to face lunch across a table with each other.
Trump hinted that US military intelligence had uncovered a secret uranium enrichment plant underground in North Korea which the government had not disclosed.
Jong-un had also refused to add his country’s nuclear arsenal into the talks, trying to keep some leverage over the US and his neighbours Japan and South Korea.
A delicate diplomatic chess game is underway.
The North Koreans built their nuclear bombs to find a way to the table to discuss lifting sanctions by disposing of their weapons.
Trump displayed his typical negotiating stance – the tantrum and leaving the room to fly back home into the political storm generated by the testimony of his former fixer Michael Cohen alleging the president was lied and committed crimes, calling him a racist, cheat and conman.