Kim Jong-un. Photo: KNS / AFP / Getty Images

Two Chinese officials with ties to top North Korean government officials told Radio Free Asia that Kim Jong-un’s regime is running low on funds for its nuclear program, Fox News reports.

Why it matters: The North is getting more and more isolated, according to this report. Some experts say when Kim Jong-un is isolated, he comes to the negotiating table to try to get sanctions eased — so this could explain the North’s recent talks with South Korea. But it’s also anyone’s best guess as to what Kim Jong-un wants exactly at any given time.

Some clues as to what North Korea might be going through:

  • North Korean officials are said to be raiding homes of farmers for food, Fox News reported.
  • The military is reportedly giving soldiers time off to search for food, per Fox News.
  • One Chinese official told Radio Free Asia they heard worried talk about finances in the regime’s Office 39, which focuses on gathering shady funds through counterfeiting or drug production and brings in about a billion dollars per year.

Potential causes: Expensive missile and nuclear weapons tests, or a sanctions package that’s depriving the regime of precious trade to keep it up and running.

Go deeper

Coronavirus cases rise in 33 states

Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise, Naema Ahmed, Danielle Alberti/Axios

The coronavirus pandemic keeps getting worse, all across the country. Thirty-three states saw their caseloads increase this week, continuing a scary nationwide trend that’s been getting worse since mid-June.

Why it matters: The U.S. is right back in the situation we were afraid of earlier this year, with a rapidly spreading outbreak, strained hospitals, and projections of more than 200,000 deaths by the end of the year.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 12,009,301 — Total deaths: 548,799 — Total recoveries — 6,561,969Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 3,053,328 — Total deaths: 132,256 — Total recoveries: 953,420 — Total tested: 37,532,612Map.
  3. Public health: Houston mayor cancels Republican convention over coronavirus concerns Deaths are rising in hotspots — Déjà vu sets in as testing issues rise and PPE dwindles.
  4. Travel: United warns employees it may furlough 45% of U.S. workforce How the pandemic changed mobility habits, by state.
  5. Education: New York City schools will not fully reopen in fallHarvard and MIT sue Trump administration over rule barring foreign students from online classes.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: A misinformation "infodemic" is here.

Transcripts show George Floyd told police "I can't breathe" over 20 times

Photo: Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Newly released transcripts of bodycam footage from the Minneapolis Police Department show that George Floyd told officers he could not breathe more than 20 times in the moments leading up to his death.

Why it matters: Floyd's killing sparked a national wave of Black Lives Matter protests and an ongoing reckoning over systemic racism in the United States. The transcripts "offer one the most thorough and dramatic accounts" before Floyd's death, The New York Times writes.