North Korea’s state press said on March 18 that about 800,000 of its residents volunteered to join or reenlist in the military to fight against the United States.
The Rodong Sinmun daily said that about 800,000 students and employees indicated a willingness to register or reenlist in the military to combat the United States on Friday alone.
“The soaring enthusiasm of young people to join the army is a clear indication of their ardent patriotism,” the North’s Rodong Sinmun said. “Their determination to ruthlessly wipe out the war maniacs, who are making last-ditch efforts to eliminate our precious socialist country, and to achieve the great cause of national reunification without fail.”
North Korea fired its Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Thursday in retaliation to the continuing US-South Korea military exercises.
North Korea launched the intercontinental ballistic missile into the sea between the Korean Peninsula and Japan on Thursday, hours before South Korea’s president travelled to Tokyo for a conference to discuss countermeasures against the nuclear-armed North.
United Nations Security Council resolutions prohibit the North’s ballistic missiles, and the launch was condemned by the governments of Seoul, Washington, and Tokyo.
On Monday, South Korean and US soldiers commenced 11 days of joint drills, dubbed “Freedom Shield 23,” on a scale not seen since 2017 in response to North Korea’s escalating threats.
Kim claimed that the United States and South Korea were raising tensions through their military exercises.