Jan 18, 2019

Summit 2.0: Trump and Kim to meet in late February

Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Surprise: The U.S. and North Korea are talking about another summit, this one potentially in late February.

Why it matters: In the 220 days since Trump and Kim met in Singapore, there have been speeches, snubs, and occasional threats, but no substantial progress toward denuclearization.

The location of the summit has not been announced, but President Trump met for about 90 minutes in the Oval Office today with Kim Yong-chol, North Korea's lead negotiator in denuclearization talks.

  • Bill Bishop notes in Axios China: "I would not be be surprised if a meeting between Trump and China President Xi Jinping is added around this. The Chinese want another Xi-Trump face to face to close a trade deal before March 1."

The big picture:

  • Kim has stepped further out of his shell, improving relations with South Korea and China and establishing himself as a global player.
  • “Maximum pressure” against his regime has faded, but sanctions remain in place.
  • The North Korean leader has rejected the U.S. premise that denuclearization must come first, followed by sanctions relief. He has spurned what most experts consider step 1: documentation of his nuclear assets.

What's next: The Washington Post notes that Trump might come to the table with an offer, potentially including a declaration of the end of the Korean War, to secure a breakthrough.

The bottom line: We’re back where we started, with Trump and Kim taking center stage. Their rhetoric toward each other has been warm.

  • But as Van Jackson, a former Pentagon strategist and author of the new book "On the Brink: Trump, Kim, and the Threat of Nuclear War," told Axios: “You are not in a stable situation if you rely on the whims and the caprice of individual leaders to prevent nuclear war.”

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,410,228 — Total deaths: 345,105 — Total recoveries — 2,169,005Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,643,499 — Total deaths: 97,722 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The CDC is warning of potentially "aggressive rodent behavior" amid a rise in reports of rat activity in several areas, as the animals search further for food while Americans stay home more during the coronavirus pandemic.

By the numbers: More than 97,700 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 366,700 Americans have recovered and more than 14.1 million tests have been conducted.

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Japan's economy minister outlined plans on Monday to end the nationwide state of emergency as the number of new novel coronavirus cases continues to decline to fewer than 50 a day, per Bloomberg. Japan has reported 16,550 cases and 820 deaths.

By the numbers: Over 5.4 million people have tested positive for the virus as of Monday, and more than 2.1 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 13.7 million tests). The U.K. is reporting over 36,800 deaths from the coronavirus — the most fatalities outside the U.S.