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A top North Korean official called Vice President Mike Pence a "political dummy" and threatened to call off the upcoming summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The big picture: Tensions between North Korea and the United States have risen following Korean officials announcing the country refuses to meet the United States’ demand of denuclearization. In an interview with Fox News earlier this week, Pence reiterated the administration’s stance on denuclearization for North Korea. 

The details: The statement, issued through official state media on behalf of Choe Son Hui, vice minister of foreign affairs for North Korea, follows the nation's recent change in tone with the United States and South Korea. The country cancelled talks with South Korea last week over joint U.S. and South Korean military drills and has refused to denuclearize before.

President Trump and the administration have remained adamant that denuclearization must be part of any deal with North Korea in some capacity despite the country's refusal to do so. The U.S. has maintained that they will keep military pressure on North Korea until denuclearization is achieved.

What happens next: With the highly anticipated meeting approaching in just a few weeks, the administration will have to decide whether it will back off its denuclearization demand or take a more aggressive approach with North Korea.

Go deeper: North Korea is giving the United States two options: Back off denuclearization or go with "the Libya model."

Go deeper

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”