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The U.S. military is considering shooting down North Korean missile tests to display its military prowess to Kim Jong-un, The Guardian reports. The move comes after North Korea's failed missile test over the weekend, which the Trump administration considers a "provocation."

Defense Secretary James Mattis has briefed Congress on the option, saying it's a way to pressure Pyongyang into denuclearization without declaring war, but the Pentagon has yet to determine whether to move forward with the proposal.

Why this matters: As Axios' Steve LeVine points out, there was a great deal of speculation over whether the U.S. cyber-terminated North Korea's missile test Sunday. The decision to shoot down future missile tests would align with Trump's warning that such tests "will not be tolerated", and solidify the message that North Korea has a much longer road to an ICBM that can strike the continental U.S.

Go deeper

UNC race conscious admissions process upheld by judge

Students walk through the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Aug. 18, 2020 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Photo: Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill can continue its race conscious admissions process, a federal judge ruled on Monday.

Why it matters: The case could end up in the Supreme Court after the conservative nonprofit Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) vowed to appeal the judge's ruling that UNC didn't discriminate against against white and Asian American applicants in its policy that it said was designed to increase diversity.

SEC debunks conspiracy theories about meme stock mania

Photo: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The SEC issued its long-awaited report on the meme stock mania, which downplayed the narrative that a "short squeeze" was the primary driver behind GameStop's historic stock moves — and shot down conspiracy theories about the event.

Why it matters: The postmortem was highly anticipated, largely because of what it could hint about what the regulator thinks should be done in wake of the saga. But the report stopped short of specific policy recommendations.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Breaking Biden's diplomatic logjam

Expand chart
Data: Center for Presidential Transition via Congress.gov; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The logjam for reviewing and confirming President Biden's ambassadorial picks is finally starting to break.

Why it matters: Biden is far behind his predecessors in the rate at which his ambassadorial picks have been confirmed. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a series of high-profile hearings and votes this week to finally begin chipping away at the backlog.