(Then) U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia, Joseph Y. Yun, right, listens to the Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister during a press conference in 2015. Photo: Joshua Paul / AP

The U.S. envoy to North Korea, Joseph Yun, is going to Seoul this week to meet with South Korea's top nuclear envoy, Lee Do-hoon, a State Department spokesperson confirmed to Axios. Lee was just appointed last month, and it will be their first meeting.

Backdrop: The meeting comes in advance of Trump's visit to the region next month, and as U.S.-South Korean naval drills are further ramping up tensions in the region. The North Korean regime interprets the drills as rehearsal for invasion, and could respond with provocative measures. Just today a North Korean official said Pyongyang won't come engage in diplomacy until it can hit the East coast of the U.S. with a nuke.

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Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Coronavirus surge is sinking consumer confidence

Data: Hamilton Place Strategies, CivicScience; Chart: Axios Visuals

The rise in coronavirus cases in certain parts of the U.S. is stunting confidence across the country, a crop of new reports show.

Driving the news: After stalling during the previous two-week period, overall economic sentiment declined for the first time in two months, according to the Economic Sentiment Index, a biweekly survey from data firm CivicScience and Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS).

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage."
  2. Health: Mask mandates help control the rise in coronavirus hospitalizations. Hospitals face a crush.
  3. Business: Coronavirus testing is a windfall. Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. World: Putin mandates face masks.

The GOP's monstrous math problem

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Republicans, win or lose next week, face a big — and growing — math problem.

The state of play: They're relying almost exclusively on a shrinking demographic (white men), living in shrinking areas (small, rural towns), creating a reliance on people with shrinking incomes (white workers without college degrees) to survive.