On the day that their talks in Hanoi collapsed last month, U.S. President Donald Trump handed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a piece of paper that included a blunt call for the transfer of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and bomb fuel to the United States, according to the document seen by Reuters, ONA reports quoting Reuters.
Trump gave Kim both Korean and English-language versions of the U.S. position at Hanoi’s Metropole hotel on Feb. 28, according to a source familiar with the discussions, speaking on condition of anonymity. It was the first time that Trump himself had explicitly defined what he meant by denuclearization directly to Kim, the source said.
A lunch between the two leaders was canceled the same day. While neither side has presented a complete account of why the summit collapsed, the document may help explain it.
The document’s existence was first mentioned by White House national security adviser John Bolton in television interviews he gave after the two-day summit. Bolton did not disclose in those interviews the pivotal U.S. expectation contained in the document that North Korea should transfer its nuclear weapons and fissile material to the United States.
The document appeared to represent Bolton’s long-held and hardline “Libya model” of denuclearization that North Korea has rejected repeatedly. It probably would have been seen by Kim as insulting and provocative, analysts said.
Trump had previously distanced himself in public comments from Bolton’s approach and said a “Libya model” would be employed only if a deal could not be reached.
The idea of North Korea handing over its weapons was first proposed by Bolton in 2004. He revived the proposal last year when Trump named him as national security adviser.
The document was meant to provide the North Koreans with a clear and concise definition of what the United States meant by “final, fully verifiable, denuclearization,” the source familiar with discussions said.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The State Department declined to comment on what would be a classified document.