North Korea has claimed nearly 800,000 of its citizens have volunteered or been re-listed to wipe out “war maniacs” in the US and South Korea, state reports from the isolated country said on Saturday.
“The rising enthusiasm of young people to join the army is a demonstration of the unshakable will of the younger generation, the war-obsessed, who are making last-ditch efforts to eliminate, mercilessly annihilate our precious socialist country and achieve the great cause of national reunification without fail failure and a clear manifestation of their fierce patriotism,” reported the North Korean daily Rodong Sinmun.
It claimed that the youth vanguard of the Hermit Kingdom “rose immediately to join the war to defend the homeland and the war to destroy the enemy,” reported Seoul-based NK News.
The soldiers have allied themselves against the “US imperialists and puppet traitors”. [who] trying to destroy our independence and our right to life and development,” the report added.
Images released by North Korean state media showed dozens of youths queuing at state-led rallies in theaters and at construction sites on Friday.
The report claimed that North Korea’s military recruitment numbers are “continuously rising.”
North Korea requires men in the country to serve at least 10 years in the military, and women must serve at least three years as part of conscription.
Officials have not given the ages of tens of thousands of people they claim enlisted as part of North Korea’s armed forces.
In a scathing attack on Pyongyang’s rivals, the report claimed that “provocations” by Washington and Seoul “crossed a line that can no longer be tolerated.”
The nation led by Kim Jong-un is trying to demonstrate it can “overwhelm” enemy military capabilities, NK News reported.
This comes just a day after North Korea launched its Hwasong-17 ICBM in response to ongoing military exercises between the US and South Korea.
The ICBM was launched into the waters between the Korean peninsula and Japan on Thursday, before the South Korean president flew to Tokyo for a summit to discuss ways to counter the nuclear-armed north.
US and South Korean forces on Monday began their 11-day joint exercises dubbed “Freedom Shield 23,” conducted on a scale not seen since 2017 to counter growing threats to the North.
Source : www.independent.co.uk