Wong Maye-E / AP

This Atlantic cover story (online soon) by Mark Bowden, author of "Black Hawk Down" and the new "Huế 1968," gives us some new baseline thoughts about the dilemma North Korea poses for the U.S.:

  • "Thirty minutes. That's how long it would take a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launched from North Korea to reach Los Angeles."
  • "Even failed tests move North Korea closer to its goal possessing nuclear weapons capable of hitting U.S. cities."
  • "Kim [Jong-un] may end up trapped in the circular logic of his strategy. He seeks to avoid destruction by building a weapon that, if used, assures his destruction."
  • "Every option the United State has for dealing with North Korea is bad."
  • "An American first strike would likely trigger one of the worst mass killings in human history."
  • "Would the U.S. sacrifice Los Angeles to save Seoul?"

Go deeper

Updated 38 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Politics: Trump calls Fauci a "disaster" on campaign call.
  2. Health: Coronavirus hospitalizations are on the rise — 8 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week.
  3. States: California to independently review FDA-approved coronavirus vaccines
  4. Wisconsin judge reimposes capacity limit on indoor venues.
  5. Media: Trump attacks CNN as "dumb b*stards" for continuing to cover pandemic.
  6. Business: Consumer confidence surveys show Americans are getting nervousHow China's economy bounced back from coronavirus.
  7. Sports: We've entered the era of limited fan attendance.
  8. Education: Why education technology can’t save remote learning.
Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

The 2020 holiday season may just kill Main Street

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Online retail and e-commerce have been chipping away at brick-and-mortar businesses over the years but the combination of the coronavirus pandemic and the 2020 holiday season may prove to be a knockout blow.

State of play: Anxious consumers say financial concerns and health worries will push them to spend less money this year and to do more of their limited spending online.

California to independently review FDA-approved coronavirus vaccines

California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California will "independently review" all coronavirus vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration before allowing their distribution, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced at a news conference Monday.

Why it matters: The move that comes days after NAID director Anthony Fauci said he had "strong confidence" in FDA-approved vaccines could cast further public doubt that the federal government could release a vaccine based on political motives, rather than safety and efficacy.