North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images

North Korea blasted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Wednesday and said a recent decision by the U.S. to extend sanctions against it is a "hostile act," the country's state-run news agency KCNA reports.

"Our state is not a country that will surrender to the U.S. sanctions, nor are we a country which the U.S. could attack whenever it desires to do so. If anyone dares to trample over our sovereignty and the right to existence, we will not hesitate to pull a muscle-flexing trigger in order to defend ourselves."
— North Korean foreign ministry spokesman quoted in KCNA

Details: KCNA reported a North Korean foreign ministry spokesman as saying Pompeo was "reckless" for telling reporters Sunday that "some 80-plus percent of the North Korean economy" had been affected by sanctions. "He let loose a sophistry as if the sanctions are rendering the bilateral talks possible," the spokesman said.

Why it matters: The statement is a reminder of the strained relations between North Korea and the U.S., despite Pyongyang reacting positively to a letter North Korean leader Kim Jong-un received from President Trump Sunday. Trump and Kim's Hanoi summit collapsed over denuclearization and sanctions relief issues in February.

Go deeper: Global hotspots: North Korea and Iran

Go deeper

13 mins ago - World

Ethiopia's Nobel Peace laureate cracks down on ethnic violence

The image of a Nobel Peace laureate in military fatigues encapsulates the moment in which Ethiopia finds itself — on the verge of a transition to democracy, a descent into violence or, perhaps, a precarious combination of the two.

Driving the news: At least 166 people were killed after an iconic musician, Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, was murdered last Monday in Addis Ababa, the capital. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed responded to the violence by sending in troops and shutting off the internet. High-profile opposition leaders were arrested, along with some 2,300 others.

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms tests positive for coronavirus

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said on Monday that she has tested positive for the coronavirus after displaying no symptoms.

Why it matters: Bottoms, one of several Black women on the shortlist to be Joe Biden's running mate, has risen to national prominence in recent months as part of mass protests over racism and police brutality — driven in part by the killing of Rayshard Brooks by Atlanta police.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 11,565,541 — Total deaths: 536,658 — Total recoveries — 6,258,697Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 2,922,000 — Total deaths: 130,208 — Total recoveries: 924,148 — Total tested: 36,032,329Map.
  3. Public health: Case growth outpacing testing in hotspots.
  4. States: West Virginia becomes latest state to mandate facial coverings in public.
  5. Politics: Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms tests positiveCuomo accuses Trump of "enabling" the coronavirus surge — Sen. Chuck Grassley opts out of attending GOP convention over coronavirus concerns.