Mar 2, 2019

North Korea's arsenal grows

President Trump waves to Vietnamese President Nguyễn Phú Trọng after meeting at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi. (Dien Bien/Getty Images)

Forget the happy talk. North Korea is steadily adding to its nuclear stockpile, the L.A. Times' Victoria Kim writes from Seoul:

What's new: "U.S. intelligence last summer estimated North Korea may have anywhere from 20 to 60 nuclear weapons. In 2018, North Korea probably produced enough plutonium and uranium for an additional five to seven nuclear weapons, researchers at Stanford have estimated."

Why it's happening: "Many of the country’s nuclear facilities are camouflaged, tucked away in mountains or hidden underground. Analysts scouring satellite imagery spotted signs of continued buildup at a network of at least 16 secret missile operating bases never acknowledged by North Korea."

Go deeper: Confidential U.N. report shows North Korea's ongoing illicit activity

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The rematch of the century

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The weekend's biggest sporting event is Wilder-Fury II, which despite its name is not an action movie sequel starring Jean-Claude Van Damme but, rather, a boxing match starring arguably the two best heavyweights in the world.

The backdrop: In their first meeting in December 2018, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury put on a memorable show at Staples Center, with Fury surviving a brutal right hand in the 12th round to earn a split-decision draw.

Pro-Trump warrior takes the helm of U.S. intelligence

Richard Grenell in Berlin. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

By picking Ambassador Richard Grenell to be acting director of national intelligence, President Trump has slotted a pro-Trump warrior into the ultimate apolitical role.

What they're saying: James Clapper, the longest-serving DNI (2010-2017), tells Axios it's "very worrisome installing a partisan with no real intelligence experience in this position."

Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers as Israel confirms first case

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship — as Israel confirmed its first case among evacuees from the ship.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 76,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health