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From left to right: Sarah Sanders, Gary Cohn, H.R. McMaster and Rex Tillerson. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

H.R. McMaster was in San Francisco on Saturday and Sunday for secret meetings about North Korea. He met with Shotaro Yachi, the director of the Japanese national security council, along with the South Koreans.

Why this matters: The group agreed that resumed communications by the North Koreans are diversions and don’t have any effect on its determined pursuit of nuclear weapons. The group agreed they need to put more unified pressure on the north. 

Backdrop:

  • North Korea and South Korea last week held their first high-level bilateral meeting in two years.
  • They met on the South Korean side of the demilitarized zone, and they agreed to resume conversations between their militaries to avoid accidental outbreak of conflict.
  • They agreed to North Korea sending a delegation to next month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Go deeper

Pacific Northwest soon to be ground zero for record-shattering heat

Computer model projection showing the unusually strong heat dome over the Pacific Northwest on Sunday. (PivotalWeather).

A heat wave is bringing unprecedented high temperatures to the Pacific Northwest — a region of the country typically cooled by the ocean, rather than central air conditioning. The heat will begin Friday and last into early next week.

Why it matters: The heat wave will shatter monthly and all-time temperature records in the Pacific Northwest. Some of the records could break the old milestones by several degrees.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
24 mins ago - Economy & Business

The crypto kings

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Bitcoin is largely a wash for 2021, but that isn't dimming crypto optimism among venture capitalists or their deep-pocketed limited partners.

Driving the news: Andreessen Horowitz this morning announced that it's raised $2.2 billion for its third crypto-focused fund.

BuzzFeed announces plans to go public via SPAC

Photo: Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

BuzzFeed said Thursday it plans to go public via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). The company is targeting a $1.5 billion valuation upon combining with 890 Fifth Avenue Partners, Inc., a blank-check company.

Driving the news: As part of the transaction, Buzzfeed said it plans to acquire Complex Networks, a lifestyle and entertainment media company, for $300 million in cash and stock.

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