U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told the House Armed Services Committee that the administration’s Nuclear Posture Review is intended to give the U.S. leverage over Russia in a dispute over a 1987 arms treaty, the AP reports.

Key point: The U.S. has claimed that Russia violated the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty when it deployed a ground-based cruise missile banned by the treaty in 2016. Russia denies the allegation. The proposed missile would “keep our negotiators negotiating from a position of strength…I don’t think the Russians would be willing to give up something to gain nothing from us.”

And from the other side: The Russian Foreign Ministry questioned on Monday whether the U.S. is in compliance with the 2010 New START Treaty, which limits the number of strategic nuclear warheads and ICBMs and bombers the U.S. and Russia can each deploy, per the AP. Both countries reported they were in compliance.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

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

New Zealand confirmed Thursday there are now 13 local cases linked to the four who tested positive for COVID-19, ending 102 days with no community spread. Auckland locked down Wednesday for 72 hours and the rest of NZ is under lesser restrictions.

By the numbers: Over 749,400 people have died of the novel coronavirus globally and over 20.6 million have tested positive, per Johns Hopkins. More than 12.8 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: 20,624,316 — Total deaths: 749,421— Total recoveries: 12,831,800Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,197,147 — Total deaths: 166,027 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi says Mnuchin told her White House is "not budging" on stimulus position.
  4. Business: U.S. already feeling effects of ending unemployment benefits.
  5. Public health: U.S. records deadliest coronavirus day of the summer — America's two-sided COVID-19 response
  6. Education: New Jersey governor allows schools to reopenGallup: America's confidence in public school system jumps to highest level since 2004.

Bob Woodward's new book details letters between Trump and Kim Jong-un

Bob Woodward during a 2019 event in Los Angele. Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images

Journalist Bob Woodward has obtained "25 personal letters exchanged" between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for his new book, "Rage," publisher Simon & Schuster revealed on Wednesday.

Details: In the letters, "Kim describes the bond between the two leaders as out of a 'fantasy film,' as the two leaders engage in an extraordinary diplomatic minuet," according to a description of the book posted on Amazon.