Kim Yong-nam, president of the Presidium of Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea, and Russian President Vladimir Putin in June 2018. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

U.S. intelligence officials say Russia made a secret proposal to North Korea last fall —dismantle its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles in exchange for a nuclear power plant, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: This marks yet another example of an emboldened Russia intervening publicly and privately in key global hotspots, often in direct conflict with U.S. interests. Earlier Tuesday, Russia doubled down on its criticism of the Trump administration's latest round of sanctions against the government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, for whom Russia has expressed continuing support.

Go deeper: Coats contradicts Trump: North Korea unlikely to give up nukes

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There's little consensus on TikTok's specific national security threat

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

TikTok has become a Rorschach test for how U.S. politicians view China, with little consensus on the specifics of its threat to homeland security.

The big picture: Much of what D.C. fears about TikTok is fear itself, and that's reflected in President Trump's executive order to ban the app by Sept. 20 if it's not sold by parent company ByteDance — alongside another focused on Chinese messaging app WeChat and its parent company Tencent.

U.S. sanctions Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam

Photo: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

The Treasury Department on Friday placed sanctions on Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, following months of tension as she has allowed continued overreach by Beijing to subvert Hong Kong's autonomy.

Why it matters: It's the toughest sanction yet imposed on China for its destruction of Hong Kong’s relatively free political system.

GM's high-stakes electric move

The Cadillac Lyriq. Image courtesy of Cadillac

Cadillac on Thursday unveiled the Lyriq, the luxury brand's first all-electric model and GM's first consumer electric vehicle unveil since the Chevy Bolt several years ago.

Why it matters: It's the first reveal by GM of an electric vehicle that will use the company's new modular platform and Ultium battery system — technologies meant to underpin the 20 electric vehicles that GM plans to launch by 2023.