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Sec. of State Mike Pompeo speaks in the White House briefing room. Photo: Mandel Ngan/ AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated Thursday that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has "indicated to me personally that he's prepared to denuclearize, that he understands that the current model doesn't work."

Why it matters: Pompeo said the only acceptable outcome to Tuesday's summit in Singapore is one in which North Korea permanently denuclearizes, and that Kim is open to that outcome. The problem, though, is the two sides don’t seem to have reached a consensus on what denuclearization actually looks like.

What's next: Pompeo said he’ll be meeting with South Korea and Japan after the summit to coordinate potential next steps, as well as traveling to China and briefing officials there.

More from Pompeo's briefing:

  • Pompeo just hopes to create a "document" that Congress will sign to guarantee future administrations cannot undo the long-term results from the summit.
  • On Rudy Giuliani's comment that Kim got “on his hands and knees and begged" for Trump to attend the summit: "Rudy doesn't speak for the administration when it comes to this negotiation and this set of issues." He added that he thinks the comment was "in jest."

Go deeper

America rebalances its post-Trump news diet

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Nearly halfway through President Biden's first 100 days, data shows that Americans are learning to wean themselves off of news — and especially politics.

Why it matters: The departure of former President Trump's once-ubiquitous presence in the news cycle has reoriented the country's attention.

2021 sees a record number of bills targeting trans youth

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Republicans in at least 25 states have introduced over 60 bills targeting transgender children — a legislative boom since January that has beaten 2020's total number of anti-trans bills.

Why it matters: LGBTQ advocates say the unprecedented push was catalyzed by backlash to Biden's election and the Supreme Court ruling that workers cannot be fired for being gay or transgender.

Why migrants are fleeing their homes for the U.S.

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios Photo: Herika Martinez /Getty Images 

Natural disasters in Central America, economic devastation, gang wars, political oppression, and a new administration are all driving the sharp rise in U.S.-Mexico border crossings — a budding crisis for President Biden.

Why it matters: Migration flows are complex and quickly politicized. Biden's policies are likely sending signals that are encouraging the surge — but that's only a small reason it's happening.