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Kim Jong-un flanked by military officials, 2017. Photo: STR/AFP via Getty Images

North Korea has begun fresh work at a factory involved in the development and production of intercontinental ballistic missile launchers, per satellite images shared by Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

Why it matters: Lewis said on Saturday that Pyongyang is expanding work at the March 16 Factory in Pyongsong, where North Korean leader Kim Jong-un "watched preparations" for the 2017 test of the Hwasong-15 missile, which was theoretically capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.

Between the lines: "The site makes trucks to transport and launch ICBMs, so this is a long-term development," Lewis told Axios via email. "But what it shows is that North Korea is broadly expanding its missile capabilities." 

  • Lewis posted satellite images to Twitter that were taken by Planet Labs showing evidence of North Korea's developments.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

The big picture: Trump administration officials have expressed concern about an escalation of tensions with North Korea in recent weeks, Axios' Jonathan Swan notes.

  • Last Saturday, North Korea announced it had carried out a launch test near the Chinese border, which it said "would help bolster the country's nuclear deterrent," the Washington Post reports.
  • Pyongyang has issued "vague threats" ahead of a Dec. 31 deadline that Kim set for President Trump to make concessions, including the lifting of sanctions, per Swan. Trump has shown no desire to do so.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

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

Private equity's other tax fight

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

Private equity is carefully watching the D.C. debate on corporate taxes, in which Senate Democrats seem to be settling on a 25% rate.

Zoom in: Marginal rates obviously matter, but for PE it's just an appetizer before the weedier work begins on issues like corporate interest deductibility.

Making sense of Biden's big emissions promise

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Biden's new U.S. emissions-cutting target is a sign of White House ambition and a number that distills the tough political and policy maneuvers needed to realize those aims.

Driving the news: This morning the White House unveiled a nonbinding goal under the Paris Agreement that calls for cutting U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 50%-52% by 2030 relative to 2005 levels.

Biden pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 52% by 2030

U.S. President Joe Biden seen in the Oval Office on April 15. (Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

The Biden administration is moving to address global warming by setting a new, economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 50% to 52% below 2005 levels by 2030.

Why it matters: The new, non-binding target is about twice as ambitious as the previous U.S. target of a 26% to 28% cut by 2025, which was set during the Obama administration. White House officials described the goal as ambitious but achievable during a call with reporters Tuesday night.