Jun 12, 2018

Trump's big concession to North Korea

Trump and Kim in Singapore. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump announced early Tuesday morning that the U.S. would be ending "war games" (joint military exercises) with South Korea, a significant concession to North Korea that does not appear to have been made in consultation with Seoul.

How it's playing: South Korea is reportedly seeking more information about what Trump meant. Bill Neely, NBC News' Chief Global Correspondent, tweets: "There is every indication from Seoul that the South Korean leadership and military did not know the US was about to cancel Joint Military exercises. 'We need to find out' they say. Stunning if true."

The rhetoric that accompanied the announcement was significant as well.

  • Trump called the exercises "provocative," undermining the Pentagon's long-time claim that they are purely "defensive" and not a threat to North Korea. He said it was "inappropriate" to continue while negotiating a peace deal, and North Korea "really appreciated" the step.
  • His main complaint was the "tremendous" cost. "South Korea contributes but not 100% and that's something we have to talk to them about also," he said.
  • One key line: "I want to get our soldiers out, I want to bring our soldiers back home ... that's not part of the equation right now, at some point I hope it will be."

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 657,691 — Total deaths: 30,438 — Total recoveries: 139,263.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 119,748 — Total deaths: 1,991 — Total recoveries: 921.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump is considering a quarantine on New York, parts of New Jersey and Connecticut. He signed a $2 trillion stimulus bill to give businesses and U.S. workers financial relief.
  4. State updates: Alaska is latest state to issue a stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month and has moved its presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters that supported Trump's handling of the virus less than two weeks ago are now balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. Hollywood: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have returned to U.S. after being treated for coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Infant dies after testing positive for coronavirus in Chicago

Hospital staff working inside a COVID-19 screening tent in Chicago on March 26. Photo: Jim Vondruska/NurPhoto via Getty Images

An infant less than one year old died in Chicago, Illinois after testing positive for the novel coronavirus, the state health department said on Saturday.

Why it matters: The death would mark the first reported infant mortality from COVID-19 in the U.S. The fatality rate for the novel coronavirus in the U.S. is highest among those over 85 years old, per the CDC.

Trump weighs quarantine of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

President Trump said on Saturday he is considering a "short term" quarantine of New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut — states that have already taken steps to quarantine residents and promote social distancing.

The big picture: With 112,000 people infected, the U.S. has the most COVID-19 cases in the world, exceeding China and Italy, per data from Johns Hopkins. A second wave of American cities, including Boston, Detroit, New Orleans and Philadelphia, are reporting influxes of cases.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health