Apr 16, 2017

The build-up to North Korea's launch, and possible reasons it failed

Wong Maye-E / AP

North Korea celebrated the "Day of the Sun" Saturday, marking the anniversary of the birth of the country's founder (and Kim Jong-un's grandfather), with a parade that included three missiles. One of those missiles was new, and appeared to be intercontinental in range, an expert told the NYT.

That celebration ended with the launch of a ballistic missile, from a submarine base on the East Coast, which exploded almost immediately.

  • Kim was attempting a show of strength following a rhetorical battle with the US, in which Pyongyang said it was prepared for "nuclear war" with Washington.
  • The US had positioned destroyers in the region to try and warn North Korea against a launch, and potentially to respond (though US officials had tamped down talk of a military response).
  • Mike Pence was en route to South Korea at the time of the launch in part to discuss the nuclear issue.

NYT on why the launch might have failed:

As the North's skills grew, President Barack Obama ordered a surge in strikes against the nuclear launches, including through electronic-warfare techniques. It is unclear how successful the program has been, because it is almost impossible to tell whether any individual launch failed because of sabotage, faulty engineering or bad luck. But the North's launch-failure rate has been extraordinarily high since Mr. Obama first accelerated the program.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 1,502,618 — Total deaths: 89,915 — Total recoveries: 339,775Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 432,554 — Total deaths: 14,829 — Total recoveries: 24,213Map.
  3. Business: The Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion. — Another 6.6 million jobless claims were filed last week
  4. Federal government latest: Congress' $250 billion PPP injection could come too late for some businesses.
  5. Public health latest: Anthony Fauci said social distancing could reduce the death toll to 60,000.
  6. Poll: 1 in 10 Americans believe the economy will never return to normal.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion amid coronavirus crisis

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell at a press conference in March. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The Federal Reserve announced Thursday that it will support the coronavirus-hit economy with up to $2.3 trillion in loans to businesses, state and city governments — made possible in part by Treasury funds set aside in the government stimulus package.

Why it matters: The Fed has taken more action amid the coronavirus outbreak than it has in any other financial crisis in U.S. history in an effort to blunt the effects of the resulting economic shutdown.

DetailsArrowUpdated 21 mins ago - Economy & Business

Senate Democrats block Republicans' $250 billion PPP injection

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Before the Paycheck Protection Program formally launched last Friday, we knew two things: The rollout would be rocky, and the initial $250 billion wouldn't be enough for America's small businesses.

The state of play: Banks and government officials have been working to smooth out the process. On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) attempt to pump another $250 billion into the program via unanimous consent was blocked by Democrats, who are proposing an alternative that includes billions more for hospitals and states.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 22 mins ago - Economy & Business