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Police officers stand guard in front of the North Korean Embassy in Kuala Lumpur after diplomatic relations between North Korea and Malaysia were officially severed. Photo: Syaiful Redzuan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A North Korean national appeared in federal court in Washington, D.C., on Monday after his extradition from Malaysia, where he was arrested in 2019 on U.S. charges of money laundering, according to the Justice Department.

Why it matters: It's the first time ever that a North Korean national has been successfully extradited to the U.S.

  • North Korea severed diplomatic ties with Malaysia last week over the extradition of 55-year-old Mun Chol Myong, who was indicted in 2019 for allegedly defrauding U.S. banks and violating UN sanctions by supplying luxury goods to North Korea.
  • Relations between Malaysia and North Korea have been deteriorating since 2017 when North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un's half-brother was assassinated with a nerve agent at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

The big picture: U.S. sanctions against North Korea are designed to cut Kim's regime off from the global financial system and slow the development of its nuclear weapons program. Money laundering can make the penalties difficult to enforce.

What they're saying: “One of the FBI’s biggest counterintelligence challenges is bringing overseas defendants to justice, especially in the case of North Korea,” FBI counterintelligence official Alan Kohler Jr. said in a statement. "Thanks to the FBI’s partnership with foreign authorities, we’re proud to bring Mun Chol Myong to the United States to face justice, and we hope he will be the first of many."

Go deeper: North Korea's Kim Yo-jong warns U.S. against "causing a stink"

Go deeper

GOP Rep. Gonzalez retires in face of Trump-backed primary

Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R) Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R) announced his retirement on Thursday, declining to run against a Trump-backed primary challenger in 2022.

Why it matters: Gonzalez has suffered politically since siding with House Democrats to impeach the 45th president after the Capitol riot.

Swing voters oppose Texas abortion law

Protesters at a rally at the Texas State Capitol. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

All 10 swing voters in Axios’ latest focus groups — including those who described themselves as "pro-life" — said they oppose Texas' new anti-abortion law.

Why it matters: If their responses reflect larger patterns in U.S. society, this could hurt Republicans with women and independents in next year's midterm elections. The swing voters cited overreach, invasion of privacy and concerns about frivolous lawsuits jamming up the courts.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Biden bombs with Manchin

Then-Vice President Joe Biden conducts a ceremonial swearing-in for Sen. Joe Manchin in 2010. Photo: Tom Williams/Roll Call

President Biden failed to persuade Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to agree to spending $3.5 trillion on the Democrats' budget reconciliation package during their Oval Office meeting on Wednesday, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Defying a president from his own party — face-to-face — is the strongest indication yet Manchin is serious about cutting specific programs and limiting the price tag of any potential bill to $1.5 trillion. His insistence could blow up the deal for progressives and others.

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