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Trump and Kim at the DMZ. Photo: Handout/Dong-A Ilbo via Getty Images

John Bolton, President Trump's former national security adviser, is publicly criticizing the Trump administration's decision to stymie a United Nations Security Council meeting on North Korea's human rights abuses.

Driving the news: "We should take the lead, not obstruct other nations," Bolton tweeted on Tuesday.

Between the lines: Bolton, who's already spoken out about what he views as Trump's misguided courtship of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, tagged me in his tweet — a sign that his latest criticism was in reference to the recent Trump administration decision at the UN.

I had tweeted a link to this New York Times story, which reported:

  • "The Trump administration has refused to support a move by members of the United Nations Security Council to hold a discussion Tuesday on North Korea's rampant human rights abuses, effectively blocking the meeting for the second year in a row."
  • "The American action appeared aimed at muting international criticism of Pyongyang’s human rights record in the hope of preserving a tenuous diplomatic opening between President Trump and Kim Jong-un."

The big picture: Administration officials have expressed concern about an escalation in recent weeks of tensions with North Korea.

  • Trump and Kim are trading insults again, as they did in 2017 when some senior administration officials worried the two countries were on a path to conflict.
  • North Korean officials have been issuing vague threats ahead of the Dec. 31 deadline that Kim set for Trump to make concessions including the lifting of sanctions. Trump has shown no desire to capitulate to North Korea's demands.
  • Per NYT: "North Korean officials have warned that their government might end its self-imposed moratorium on intercontinental ballistic missile and nuclear tests if Washington does not meet Mr. Kim's Dec. 31 deadline. A vice foreign minister of North Korea warned last week that it was up to Washington to decide what kind of 'Christmas gift' it would receive from Pyongyang."

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Technology

TikTok gets more time (again)

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The White House is again giving TikTok's Chinese parent company more to satisfy national security concerns, rather than initiating legal action, a source familiar with the situation tells Axios.

The state of play: China's ByteDance had until Friday to resolve issues raised by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), which is chaired by Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin. This was the company's third deadline, with CFIUS having provided two earlier extensions.

Federal judge orders Trump administration to restore DACA

DACA recipients and their supporters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 18. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty

A federal judge on Friday ordered the Trump administration to fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, giving undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children a chance to petition for protection from deportation.

Why it matters: DACA was implemented under former President Obama, but President Trump has sought to undo the program since taking office. Friday’s ruling will require Department of Homeland Security officers to begin accepting applications starting Monday and guarantee that work permits are valid for two years.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot" — The recovery needs rocket fuel.
  2. Health: CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use" — Death rates rising across the country — Study: Increased testing can reduce transmission.
  3. Economy: U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows — America's hidden depression: K-shaped recovery threatens Biden administration.
  4. Cities: Bay Area counties to enact stay-at-home order ahead of state mandate
  5. Vaccine: What vaccine trials still need to do.
  6. World: UN warns "2021 is literally going to be catastrophic"
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process.