Jul 1, 2019

Bolton denies U.S. is considering a North Korean nuclear freeze

National security adviser John Bolton denied a New York Times report that the U.S. was considering endorsing a North Korean nuclear freeze in the next round of negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington in a Monday tweet.

"I read this NYT story with curiosity. Neither the NSC staff nor I have discussed or heard of any desire to 'settle for a nuclear freeze by NK.' This was a reprehensible attempt by someone to box in the President. There should be consequences."

The big picture, per the Times report: A nuclear freeze would pause further weapons development in North Korea but allow it to keep existing weapons — a step back from the Trump administration's previously outlined goal of complete denuclearization.

  • The administration wants to pursue denuclearization, but recognizes that talks have gone nowhere since the initial goal more than two years ago, according to the Times.
  • When President Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the DMZ on Sunday, he told reporters the stalled talks between the two countries would resume but did not provide specifics.

Worth noting: Bolton wasn't on hand for Trump's historic steps into North Korea with Kim over the weekend. He was in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

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Minneapolis unrest as hundreds protest death of George Floyd

Tear gas is fired as police clash with protesters demonstrating against the death of George Floyd outside the 3rd Precinct Police Precinct in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Tuesday. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Minneapolis police used tear gas during clashes with protesters demanding justice Tuesday night for George Floyd, an African American who died in police custody, according to multiple news reports.

Driving the news: The FBI is investigating Floyd's death after video emerged of a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on his neck for several minutes, ignoring protests that he couldn't breathe. Hundreds of protesters attended the demonstration at the intersection where Floyd died, per the Guardian.

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced plans Tuesday to make wearing face coverings mandatory statewide for most people over the age of 10 when inside public places like retailers, on public transportation and government buildings. He announced the measure, effective Friday, as coronavirus case numbers increased to 39,342.

By the numbers: More than 98,900 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 384,900 Americans have recovered and more than 14.9 million tests have been conducted.

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Japan is preparing a second coronavirus stimulus package worth $1.1 trillion, or about 40% of the country's gross domestic product, Reuters first reported Tuesday night.

Zoom in: The new measure will be funded by government bonds and will include "a raft of loan guarantees and private sector contributions," per Bloomberg.