Kim Jong-un speaks Friday to the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, in Pyongyang. Photo: North Korean government via AP

Kim Jong-un may have learned the art of dealing with President Trump: Give him a win — or at least what he thinks is a win, or can spin as a win.

Why it matters, via BBC: "The surprise announcement comes as North Korea prepares for historic talks with South Korea and the U.S.": Kim is due to meet his South Korean counterpart next week, and President Trump by June.

What happened: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un announced the country will stop conducting nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles starting April 21, and shut down a nuclear test site in the north side of the country. Per BBC, Kim said further tests were unnecessary because Pyongyang's nuclear capabilities had been 'verified.'

Trump tweets: "This is very good news for North Korea and the World - big progress! Look forward to our Summit. ... Progress being made for all!"

Be smart, from a former National Security Council official under President George W. Bush: "Not a big deal to pause testing nuclear or missiles when summit is coming ... Totally reversible. Eye wash."

Victor Cha — senior adviser and Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, who was Trump's candidate for ambassador to South Korea — tells Axios future editor Steve LeVine that the shift isn't as abrupt as it looks:

  • "They have already stated that they would halt all testing while in dialogue. This statement formalizes that promise."
  • "[T]he statement talks about a test ban, no first use, and no transfer — all the trappings of a 'responsible' nuclear weapons state (which is what they ultimately wanted to be accepted as)."
  • "Thus, this is not a denuclearization statement, it is a statement that DPRK [North Korea] can be a responsible nuclear weapons state."
  • The key sentence: "No one believes this, but if they can get Trump to agree, that is all they need."

What to watch for, per Cha: "[T]he glaring unanswered question in all of this is what the U.S. will give in return for these up front N.K. concessions."

  • "We know what we want from DPRK, but no one is scrutinizing what the US administration is thinking of giving up — sanctions? peace treaty? normalization? exercises? missile defense?"
Subscribe to Axios AM/PM for a daily rundown of what's new and why it matters, directly from Mike Allen.
Please enter a valid email.
Please enter a valid email.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Subscribed! Look for Axios AM and PM in your inbox tomorrow or read the latest Axios AM now.

Go deeper

10 mins ago - Science

3 dead and thousands evacuated as Northern California fires explode

A building at the Meadowood Napa Valley luxury resort burns after the Glass Fire moved through the area on September 28, 2020 in St. Helena, California. Photo: by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Three people have died in a wildfire in Northern California and tens of thousands were evacuated across the state, as firefighters contended with strong winds and dry conditions that saw blazes explode across the state on Monday.

Driving the news: Shasta County Sheriff Eric Magrini confirmed the deaths occurred as the Zogg Fire spread across 15,000 acres, forcing the evacuation of 1,200 people. More than for 5o,000 people, per AP.

Updated 21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 33,273,720 — Total deaths: 1,000,555 — Total recoveries: 23,056,480Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 7,147,241 — Total deaths: 205,031 — Total recoveries: 2,794,608 — Total tests: 102,342,416Map.
  3. Business: Companies are still holding back earnings guidance.
  4. Health: Trump announces plan to distribute 150 million rapid tests —The childless vaccine.
  5. Media: Fauci: Some of what Fox News reports about COVID-19 is "outlandish"
  6. States: Cuomo extends New York moratorium on evictions until 2021.
  7. World: More than 1 million people have now died from coronavirus — India the second country after U.S. to hit 6 million cases.
Dave Lawler, author of World
39 mins ago - World

Global coronavirus death toll crosses 1 million

Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The global toll of confirmed deaths from COVID-19 crossed 1 million on Monday, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

By the numbers: More than half of those deaths have come in four countries: the U.S. (204,762), Brazil (141,741), India (95,542) and Mexico (76,430). The true global death toll is likely far higher.