Photo: Dien Bien/Getty Images

North Korea's Kim Jong-un oversaw the test of a new tactical guided weapon on Wednesday, reports Reuters.

"The completion of the development of the weapon system serves as an event of very weighty significance in increasing the combat power..."
— Kim told Korean Central News Agency, of his nation's military

Why it matters: This is North Korea's first weapons test since Kim and President Trump met in February for a second summit in Hanoi, resulting in no agreement between the 2 nations.

Details: State media did not specify if Wednesday's test was of a nuclear weapon, but "tactical" suggests it was a short-range weapon, per Reuters. The test comes after satellite images of North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear site showed railcar activity on April 12.

  • Both Kim and Trump have hinted at the possibility of a third sit-down. The Trump administration has worked to maintain an "all or nothing" approach, in which sanctions on North Korea would only be lifted after full denuclearization.

Go deeper: Report: North Korea restoring missile launch site

Go deeper

Over 73 million people watched the first debate on TV

Data: Nielsen; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than 73.1 million people watched the first presidential debate on television on Monday night, according to Nielsen ratings.

Why it matters: While that's a sizable audience for any American TV program, it's down more than 13% from the record number of TV viewers who tuned in for the first debate of the 2016 election. The chaotic nature of the debate and the overall uncertainty around this year's election may have pushed some viewers away.

Senate passes bill funding government through December

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Senate on Tuesday passed legislation to fund the federal government through Dec. 11, by a vote of 84-10.

Where it stands: The legislation will avert a government shutdown before funding expires Wednesday night and before the Nov. 3 election. The House passed the same measure last week by a vote of 359-57 after House Democrats and the Trump administration agreed on the resolution.

  • Both sides agreed early in negotiations that the bill should be a "clean" continuing resolution — meaning each party would only make small changes to existing funding levels so the measure would pass through both chambers quickly, Axios' Alayna Treene reported last week. The bill now goes to President Trump for signature.
Bryan Walsh, author of Future
56 mins ago - Technology

The age of engineering life begins

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Synthetic biology startups raised some $3 billion through the first half of 2020, up from $1.9 billion for all of 2019, as the field brings the science of engineering to the art of life.

The big picture: Synthetic biologists are gradually learning how to program the code of life the way that computer experts have learned to program machines. If they can succeed — and if the public accepts their work — synthetic biology stands to fundamentally transform how we live.