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North Korea leader Kim Jong-un. Photo: Pyeongyang Press Corps/Pool/Getty Images.

Despite diplomatic efforts by the U.S., new satellite images show that North Korea has expanded an unidentified long-range missile base along the "mountainous interior of the country," CNN's Zachary Cohen reports.

Why it matters: The construction does not technically violate any agreement between the U.S. and South Korea, per CNN. However, the activity shown from the images is more evidence that the Yeongjeo-dong missile base and a nearby site remain active, leading the Trump administration to conclude that Pyongyang has failed to live up to its promises.

The details: The images show the country was building a large underground facility in 2017, which was still under construction as of August.

  • In November, satellite imaging revealed North Korea had been making improvements to 16 hidden ballistic missile bases even as it has made halting moves to dismantle a major site to appease the U.S.
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Kim in Pyongyang in October to prove that the Punggye-ri nuclear test site had been "irreversibly dismantled."

What to watch: National security adviser John Bolton said Tuesday that Trump wants to hold a second summit meeting early next year with North Korea even though Kim has not met promises to start dismantling his nuclear weapons program.

Go deeper

17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Kevin McCarthy's rude awakening

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Kevin McCarthy is learning you can get torched when you try to make everyone happy, especially after an insurrection.

Why it matters: The House Republican leader had been hoping to use this year to build toward taking the majority in 2022, but his efforts to bridge intra-party divisiveness over the Capitol siege have him taking heat from every direction, eroding his stature both with the public and within his party.

The next big political war: redistricting

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democrats are preparing a mix of tech and legal strategies to combat expected gerrymandering by Republicans, who are planning to go on legal offense themselves.

Why it matters: Democrats failed to regain a single state legislature on Election Day, while Republicans upped their control to 30 states' Houses and Senates. In the majority of states, legislatures draw new congressional district lines, which can boost a party's candidates for the next decade.

48 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Vaccinations, relief timing dominate Sweet 16 call

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) speaks during a news conference in December with a group of bipartisan lawmakers. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Vaccine distribution, pandemic data and a cross-party comity dominated today's virtual meeting between White House officials and a bipartisan group of 16 senators, Senator Angus King told Axios.

Why it matters: Given Democrats' razor-thin majority in both chambers of Congress, President Biden will have to rely heavily on this group of centrist lawmakers — dubbed the "Sweet 16" — to pass any substantial legislation.