Mar 27, 2018

The new North Korean nuclear reactor

A North Korean military parade in 2017. Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images

Fresh off the news of a rumored Kim Jong-un visit to Beijing, there is renewed concern about a new North Korean nuclear reactor, the N.Y. Times reports.

Why it matters: "The new reactor could be a central issue in the Trump-Kim talks, if the goal, as the United States insists, is complete denuclearization. Even if Mr. Kim agrees to a freeze on nuclear and missile testing, he would still be able to accumulate more bomb fuel for a larger arsenal as long as the negotiations dragged on."

Details:

  • "[A] satellite image... shows a new North Korean reactor that appears to be coming online now, after years of construction, according to analysts." The image also "suggests that preliminary testing may have begun at the new reactor."
  • North Korea says it's intended to produce electricity, but it could also produce "about 20 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium each year," more than four times what the country's other large reactor makes, per the Times.

Flashback: "This was a critical issue in the Iran negotiations, where President Barack Obama negotiated a freeze on new production of significant quantities of new nuclear fuel, though it expires in 13 years. It is unclear whether Mr. Trump could extract a similar halt in production from North Korea."

Go deeper: Satellite photos and analysis by the NYT's K.K. Rebecca Lai, William Broad and David Sanger

Go deeper

Trump administration backs Oracle in Google fight

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo via The Washington Post.

The Trump administration is siding with Oracle in the database giant's dispute with Google before the Supreme Court — a move that comes as Oracle's founder hosts a high-dollar fundraiser for the president.

Why it matters: Billions of dollars — and, Google argues, the future of software innovation — are at stake as a long-running copyright dispute between the two giant companies heads to the Supreme Court next month.

Established VCs turn to "super angels" to grow their network

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Thanks to companies like AngelList and Carta that make it easier than ever to set up small VC funds, a new generation of so-called “super angels” is cropping up — and established venture funds are backing them.

Why it matters: Just like the boom in scout programs a number of years ago, it’s all about the deal flow.

Scoop: Top NSC official reassigned to Energy Department amid "Anonymous" fallout

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates will be reassigned as a senior adviser to Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, the National Security Council said Thursday — and a senior White House official said that the administration "rejects" the rumors that she is "Anonymous."

Why it matters: Coates has battled claims that she is the still-unknown Trump administration official that penned a New York Times op-ed and book critical of President Trump.