North Korea claims, about 800,000 of its people have volunteered to enlist in or reenlist in the military to battle the United States.
According to Saturday’s edition of North Korea’s official newspaper Rodong Sinmun, about 800,000 students and workers nationwide expressed a wish to enlist or reenlist in the military to oppose the United States on Friday alone.
The claim came after North Korea on Thursday launched its Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in response to ongoing US-South Korea military drills.
On Thursday, just hours before the president of South Korea took off for Tokyo for a summit to talk methods of containing the nuclear-armed North, North Korea launched an ICBM into the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan.
Ballistic missiles from the North are prohibited by United Nations Security Council decisions, and the launch was denounced by the governments of Seoul, Washington, and Tokyo.
On Monday, “Freedom Shield 23,” an 11-day joint exercise between South Korean and American forces conducted to counter the North’s increasing threats, got underway.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un accused the United States and South Korea of increasing tensions with the military drills.
Belligerent statements are a common way for North Korea to react to what it perceives as “provocations” by the US. According to experts, aside from the joint military drills and the meeting this week between Presidents Yoon Suk Yeol of South Korea and Fumio Kishida of Japan, South Korea has taken issue with US President Joe Biden’s proposal to welcome Yoon and his wife at the White House next month.