Aug 4, 2018

Go deeper: Where things stand with North Korea

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Officials from the U.S. spoke with members of the North Korean delegation on Saturday at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) conference in Indonesia, and delivered a letter from President Trump to Kim Jong-un, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: It's unclear what the letter said, or what progress has been made towards denuclearization since President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's summit earlier this year. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday there's still "a ways to go" before complete denuclearization, but North Korean officials criticized the U.S. the next day for continuing sanctions despite their commitment to denuclearize.

What's happening
  • Pompeo warned the international community on Saturday against violating the sanctions against North Korea: "I want to remind every nation that has supported these resolutions that this is a serious issue...Any violation that detracts from the world’s goal of finally fully denuclearizing North Korea would be something that America would take very seriously."
  • In response, North Korea Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho said the regime remains committed to the commitment it made with the U.S. at the June summit, BBC reports. Ri added, but "[w]hat is alarming...is the insistent moves manifested within the U.S. to go back to the old, far from its leader's intention."
What's happened since the U.S.-North Korea summit

Trump praised Kim this week for delivering on his promise to return remains of U.S. soldiers from the Korean War, saying he was "not at all surprised" by the "kind action."

  • Yes, but: At the end of July, there were reports that the regime was developing new intercontinental ballistic missiles.
  • A U.N. Security Council report said that North Korea hasn't stopped its nuclear and missile development programs.

Trump has maintained that he is pleased with the way things are going with the regime, tweeting in July: "A Rocket has not been launched by North Korea in 9 months. Likewise, no Nuclear Tests. Japan is happy, all of Asia is happy. But the Fake News is saying, without ever asking me (always anonymous sources), that I am angry because it is not going fast enough. Wrong, very happy!"

Go deeper: North Korea's two paths back to "fire and fury"

Go deeper

Ivanka Trump plans focus on coronavirus recovery for small businesses

Ivanka Trump speaks at yesterday's White House videoconference with bank and credit card executives. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Ivanka Trump personally lobbied top bank executives to line up the $1.5 billion in commitments to small business that were announced yesterday at a videoconference among the bank executives and President Trump — stoking competitive juices among the execs to drive up their commitments.

The state of play: Ivanka, who has had workforce development in her portfolio going back to 2017, plans an increasing emphasis on small businesses in the weeks ahead as they navigate the rescue bill’s Payroll Protection Program, sources tell me.

Public transit's death spiral

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Public transit systems across the country are experiencing a painful trifecta: Ridership has collapsed, funding streams are squeezed, and mass transit won't bounce back from the pandemic nearly as fast as other modes of transportation.

Why it matters: Transit agencies could see an annual shortfall of as much as $38 billion due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to TransitCenter. At the same time, they're more important than ever, with more than 36% of essential workers relying on public transportation to get to work.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates: London mayor says U.K. nowhere near lockdown lifting

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern offered hope in the fight against the novel coronavirus, saying she believes New Zealand has "turned a corner" after two weeks of strict lockdown measures. But London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said the U.K. is "nowhere near" lifting restrictions.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed over 82,000 people and infected 1.4 million others globally as of early Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Global recoveries have surpassed 301,000. Spain has reported the most cases outside the U.S. (more than 141,000) and Italy the most deaths (over 17,000). Half the planet's population is on lockdown.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health