Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters Monday during a visit to Nigeria that the U.S. has "not heard anything directly back from North Korea" since President Trump's abrupt decision to accept an invitation to meet Kim Jong-un.

South Korean official Chung Eui-Yong (2nd L) told Trump about promises from Kim (3rd L). Photo: South Korean Presidential Blue House via Getty Images
  • Tillerson's explanation: Things are still “in the very early stages” and the U.S. does expect to "hear something directly from them" at some point, per Politico.
  • Why it matters: Kim's invitation was passed to Trump via South Korean officials, along with his promises to freeze Pyongyang's nuclear program, halt missile testing and allow U.S.-South Korean military drills to move forward. It will be hard to assess whether he intends to keep those promises, and to establish the terms for a meeting, absent direct communication.

Go deeper

13 mins ago - Health

Houston public health system CEO says coronavirus situation is "dire"

Houston's coronavirus situation is "dire, and it's getting worse, seems like, every day," Harris Health System CEO and President Dr. Esmail Porsa said Monday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

The big picture: Porsa said the region is seeing numbers related to the spread of the virus that are "disproportionately higher than anything we have experienced in the past." He noted that Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital's ICU is at 113% capacity, and 75% of its beds are coronavirus patients.

Fund managers start to board the stock bandwagon

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Asset managers at major U.S. investment firms are starting to get bullish with their clients, encouraging stock buying and trying not to get left behind right as the metrics on tech stocks rise back to highs not seen since the dot-com crash of 2000.

What's happening: Appetite for stocks is starting to return, but slowly as institutional money managers were overwhelmingly sitting on the sidelines in cash during April and May.

2 hours ago - World

China bans Cruz and Rubio over Xinjiang criticism

Photos: Graeme Jennings/Pool/Getty Images; Al Drago/Pool/Getty Images

China said Monday that it will ban entry to Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) over their criticisms of human rights abuses in Xinjiang, the AP reports.

The big picture: The move seems to be retaliatory after the U.S. announced sanctions on four Chinese officials for human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in the region last week.