May 9, 2018

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen
1 big thing: Trump's dramatic North Korea homecoming

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Three U.S. prisoners in North Korea are coming home, and President Trump will be meeting them when the plane arrives in the wee hours of Thursday morning.

Why it matters: "[T]he release of the three Americans is permanent, and Mr. Kim forfeited a bargaining chip in freeing them. No other Americans are believed to be held prisoner in North Korea," Choe Sang-Hun writes for the N.Y. Times.

  • "A senior United States official said the prisoner release was an American condition to the planned talks between the leaders of the United States and North Korea."

Trump's triumphant announcement:

  • "I am pleased to inform you that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in the air and on his way back from North Korea with the 3 wonderful gentlemen that everyone is looking so forward to meeting. They seem to be in good health. Also, good meeting with Kim Jong Un. Date & Place set."
  • "Secretary Pompeo and his 'guests' will be landing at Andrews Air Force Base at 2:00 A.M. in the morning. I will be there to greet them. Very exciting!"

The newly-freed prisoners: Tony Kim, detained since April 23, 2017; Kim Hak-song, detained since May 6, 2017; Kim Dong-chul, detained since 2015.

P.S. Trump has ruled out the DMZ as a location for the North Korean meeting. Singapore is among the remaining options.

2. What you missed
The Sistine Chapel Choir at Westfield World Trade Center in New York City. (Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for AEG)
  1. The U.S. exit from the Iran deal will hurt European countries, but leave room for the Chinese and Russians. More winners and losers.
  2. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin will vote to confirm Gina Haspel, Trump's nominee for CIA director. Why it matters.
  3. Ford cars are the latest U.S. product to face increased Chinese scrutiny as a result of potential trade war tensions. Details.
  4. Mexico is on track for more than 30,000 murders this year, which would surpass last year's record high of 25,340 murders. Reasons for the spike.
  5. NBC found no culture of sexual harassment in its internal investigation after the Matt Lauer revelations. More. (Note: NBCUniversal is an investor in Axios and Andy Lack is on the Axios board.)
  6. Pharmaceutical giant Novartis paid $1.2 million to Michael Cohen in exchange for advice about the Trump administration’s health policy agenda. Details.
3. 1 fun thing

New York's metropolitan area is dominating the list of richest ZIP Codes, per IRS data analyzed by Bloomberg.

The Northeast's top 5:

  • Harrison, NY
  • Gladwyne, PA
  • Weston, MA
  • Far Hills, NJ
  • Riverside, CT

See if your ZIP Code made the cut

Mike Allen