On the day that their talks in Hanoi collapsed last month, US 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.
Trump gave Kim both Korean and English-language versions of the US 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 US 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.
After the summit, a North Korean official accused Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of "gangster-like" demands, saying Pyongyang was considering suspending talks with the United States and may rethink its self-imposed ban on missile and nuclear tests.
The English version of the document, seen by Reuters, called for "fully dismantling North Korea's nuclear infrastructure, chemical and biological warfare program and related dual-use capabilities; and ballistic missiles, launchers, and associated facilities."
The first summit between Trump and Kim, which took place in Singapore in June 2018, was almost called off after the North Koreans rejected Bolton's repeated demands for it to follow a denuclearization model under which components of Libya's nuclear program were shipped to the United States in 2004.
Seven years after a denuclearization agreement was reached between the United States and Libya's leader, Muammar Gaddafi, the United States took part in a Nato-led military operation against his government and he was overthrown by rebels and killed.