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President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during their summit in Singapore. Photo: Susan Walsh/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump has directed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to cancel his upcoming trip to North Korea, saying the country was not "making sufficient progress with respect to denuclearization."

Why it matters: Despite the pledge North Korea made at the summit in Singapore in June to commit to denuclearization, the Kim regime has yet to take any significant steps toward doing so.

The China angle: Trump also tweeted that, because of his tougher stance with China, he does "not believe they are helping with the process of denuclearization as they once were." He added that he thinks Pompeo will be able to return to North Korea once the trade issues with China have been settled.

  • Between the lines, per Axios contributor Bill Bishop: The North Korea issue is one that could quickly return to the forefront of U.S. policy towards China if Beijing is easing off the sanctions pressure.
  • The Singapore Straits Times has reported that Xi Jinping is planning to attend the celebrations for the 70th anniversary founding of North Korea in Pyongyang in September, and if he goes it seems unlikely he would show up without bearing some gifts.
  • If President Trump decides North Korea is playing him, and Beijing is complicit, then it wouldn't be surprising to see U.S. sanctions on China and North Korea back on the table.

The tweets:

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

McConnell drops filibuster demand, paving way for power-sharing deal

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (R) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attend a joint session of Congress. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has abandoned his demand that Democrats state, in writing, that they would not abandon the legislative filibuster.

Between the lines: McConnell was never going to agree to a 50-50 power sharing deal without putting up a fight over keeping the 60-vote threshold. But the minority leader ultimately caved after it became clear that delaying the organizing resolution was no longer feasible.

5 hours ago - Technology

Scoop: Google won't donate to members of Congress who voted against election results

Sen. Ted Cruz led the group of Republicans who opposed certifying the results. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Google will not make contributions from its political action committee this cycle to any member of Congress who voted against certifying the results of the presidential election, following the deadly Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Several major businesses paused or pulled political donations following the events of Jan. 6, when pro-Trump rioters, riled up by former President Trump, stormed the Capitol on the day it was to certify the election results.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Minority Mitch still setting Senate agenda

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Chuck Schumer may be majority leader, yet in many ways, Mitch McConnell is still running the Senate show — and his counterpart is about done with it.

Why it matters: McConnell rolled over Democrats unapologetically, and kept tight control over his fellow Republicans, while in the majority. But he's showing equal skill as minority leader, using political jiujitsu to convert a perceived weakness into strength.