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Vice President Mike Pence and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un's sister Kim Yo-Jong. Photo: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

Vice President Mike Pence is hosting former Republican Sen. Richard Lugar and former Democratic Sen. Sam Nunn in his West Wing office at 4:30pm this afternoon, where the three will discuss potential models for removing nuclear material and equipment from North Korea, two sources familiar with the meeting told Axios.

Why it matters: As part of their preparation for the Trump-Kim June 12th summit in Singapore, senior administration officials are studying potential next steps if the two strike a deal to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. Pence, who represented Trump at the Winter Olympics in South Korea last year, has been meeting with experts on the subject for months, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. He's interested in what Nunn and Lugar have to say because they helped reduce the nuclear threat during the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The backdrop: Nunn and Lugar are widely recognized as the drivers of the "proliferation in reverse" success story with the denuclearization of the former Soviet republics.

  • The two were the leading sponsors of the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program (CTR) — now referred to as the Nunn-Lugar Soviet Nuclear Threat Reduction Act of 1991 — in the Senate, which helped dismantle and consolidate the large nuclear arsenals inherited by former Soviet states Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan after the Soviet Union’s collapse.

What to watch: Nunn and Lugar recently wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post, where they explained the necessary next steps if talks with North Korea.

"Just as we should prepare for the summit to go wrong, we should also prepare for it to 'go right' ... achieving security and stability and reducing catastrophic risks on the peninsula will require intensive, expert-level negotiations and comprehensive, step-by-step implementation over many months, or perhaps years."

Go deeper: Nunn-Lugar revisited.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
15 mins ago - Economy & Business

Miami mayor: Bitcoin's appeal is that governments can't manipulate it

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is pushing to make bitcoin a part of his city's economic future, and in an interview with "Axios on HBO," he pushed back against the economic orthodoxy of people like Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen who say it's a bad idea.

Why it matters: Miami's inclusion of bitcoin as a way to pay city employees or as part of the city's emergency cash holdings, as Suarez has proposed, would add legitimacy to the cryptocurrency and further entrench it in the U.S. economic system.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
16 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Miami mayor acknowledges Big Tech plans could hurt the city's poor

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez's ambitions to attract Big Tech has generated a lot of headlines — but it will likely come with some negative impacts for current residents, for which the mayor admits there may not be solutions.

What he's saying: "Gentrification is real," Suarez told "Axios on HBO." But even with his efforts to promote affordable housing, he argues that "government has a limited amount of resources and a limited amount of ability to stop things that are market driven."

Trump's assault on Chinese tech left loose ends galore

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's haphazard war on Chinese tech has left the Biden administration with a raft of unfinished business involving efforts to restrict Chinese firms and products in U.S. markets.

Why it matters: The Chinese and American tech industries are joined at the hip in many ways, and that interdependence has shaped decades of prosperity. But now security concerns and economic rivalries are wrenching them apart.

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