Lee Jin-man / AP

President Obama reportedly ordered the Pentagon three years ago to enhance their cyber strikes to thwart North Korean missiles in their first few seconds of launch, according to the New York Times. Although initial efforts may have been successful (some of the DPRK's rockets exploded, veered off course, or fell apart in midair), North Korea has launched three medium-range rockets over the past eight months.

Why this matters: Obama told Trump before he was sworn in that North Korean nuclear and missile programs would be the most urgent threats he would confront over the course of his presidency. North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, says his country is in "the final stage in preparations" for intercontinental ballistic missiles, but the U.S. still does not have the capabilities to counter North Korean nuclear and missile programs, per the NYT. Trump himself said "we're so obsolete in cyber" during his campaign.

What's next: Trump could ramp up the Pentagon's cyber strikes against North Korea, he could negotiate with the DPRK to halt its nuclear and missile programs, or he could prepare the U.S. for directing missile strikes to the launch sites. These options were all discussed in the Situation Room as recently as Tuesday.

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Updated 2 hours ago - World

Pandemic plunges U.K. into "largest recession on record"

The scene near the Royal Exchange and the Bank of England in the City of London, England. Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom slumped into recession as its gross domestic product GDP shrank 20.4% compared with the first three months of the year, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) confirmed Wednesday.

Why it matters: Per an ONS statement, "It is clear that the U.K. is in the largest recession on record." The U.K. has faired worse than any other major European economy from coronavirus lockdowns, Bloomberg notes. And finance minister Rishi Sunak warns the situation is likely to worsen.

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

The United Kingdom slumped into recession on Wednesday, as its gross domestic product GDP shrank 20.4% compared with the first three months of the year.

By the numbers: Over 741,400 people have died of the novel coronavirus globally and more than 20.2 million have tested positive, per Johns Hopkins. Almost 12.6 million have recovered from the virus.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 20,294,091 — Total deaths: 741,420— Total recoveries: 12,591,454Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,141,207 — Total deaths: 164,537 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. States: Georgia reports 137 coronavirus deaths, setting new daily record Florida reports another daily record for deaths.
  4. Health care: Trump administration buys 100 million doses of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine.
  5. Business: Moderna reveals it may not hold patent rights for vaccine.
  6. Sports: Big Ten scraps fall football season.
  7. World: Anthony Fauci "seriously" doubts Russia's coronavirus vaccine is safe