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Photo: Olivier Douliery, Pool/Getty Images

Some experienced North Korea analysts believe hardline elements within the North Korean intelligence apparatus have been opposed to the idea of the summit between Kim Jong-un and Trump.

Between the lines: One source said Kim Jong-un's decision to send the former spy chief Gen. Kim Yong-chol to the U.S. was likely designed to signal to any internal skeptics that he's taking a tough-minded approach.

  • The U.S. intelligence community believes Kim "has been the mastermind of some of North Korea's most nefarious recent activities," said the source, who has studied the U.S. intelligence assessments of Kim.
  • The source said these nefarious activities include the 2010 sinking of a South Korean Navy vessel — by a torpedo fired from a North Korean submarine — which killed 46 sailors.

Behind the scenes: Kim Yong-chol had never visited the West before his recent trip to New York and Washington, the source said.

  • Part of Mike Pompeo’s plan was to show Kim what's possible and how far behind they are, economically. When they met in New York, Pompeo showed Kim sweeping views of the city.

Go deeper

59 mins ago - Health

India crosses 1 billion COVID vaccinations milestone

A health worker inoculates a COVID-19 vaccine dose to a man wearing face mask of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Beawar, India, in September. Photo: Sumit Saraswat/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Thursday that the country's health workers have now administered more than 1 billion COVID-19 vaccines doses.

Of note: While this is a significant milestone for the country of 1.4 billion, which has been devastated by the coronavirus, only about 30% of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated against the virus, per AP. Roughly 75% has received at least one dose.

Trump says he plans to launch new social media network in 2022

Photo: Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Trump on Wednesday announced plans to launch a social media network called "Truth Social," and that it would go public via a SPAC.

Why it matters: Most ex-presidents are focused on their legacies, by creating presidential libraries or engaging in philanthropic endeavors. Trump, however, remains consumed by social media.

Beauty giant Coty Cosmetics looking to sell its own branded products

Coty Cosmetics CEO Sue Nabi. Photo: Axios on HBO

Coty Cosmetics CEO Sue Nabi tells Axios the beauty giant will “probably” introduce Coty-branded products one day.

Why it matters: Coty produces some of the world’s most popular fragrances, skin care products and color cosmetics on behalf of other well-known brands, but has shied away from producing its own branded products.