North Korea has claimed that nearly 800,000 of its citizens have volunteered to join the military or get re-listed to “wipe-out war maniacs” US and South Korea, state reports from the isolated country said on Saturday.
“The soaring enthusiasm of young people to join the army is a demonstration of the unshakeable will of the younger generation to mercilessly wipe out the war maniacs making last-ditch efforts to eliminate our precious socialist country, and achieve the great cause of national reunification without fail and a clear manifestation of their ardent patriotism,” North Korean daily Rodong Sinmun reported.
It claimed that the hermit kingdom’s “youth vanguard rose up at once to join the war to defend the homeland and the war to destroy the enemy”, reported Seoul-based NK news.
The soldiers have signed up against the “US imperialists and puppet traitors [who] are trying to destroy our independence and right to live and develop”, the report added.
Visuals released by the North Korean state media showed dozens of youngsters queuing up at state-led rallies at theatres and construction sites on Friday.
The report claimed that the military enlistment numbers “are continuously rising” around North Korea.
North Korea requires men in the country to mandatorily serve in the military for at least 10 years and women are required to serve for at least three years under the conscription practice.
Officials have not provided the age of tens of thousands of people it claims have signed up to be a part of North Korea’s armed forces.
In a sharp attack on Pyongyang’s rivals, the report claimed that “provocations” by Washington and Seoul “are crossing a line that can no longer be tolerated”.
The Kim Jong-un-led nation is looking to demonstrate that it can “overpower” enemy military capabilities, reported NK News.
This comes just a day after North Korea test fired its Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in backlash to the ongoing US-South Korea military drills.
The ICBM was fired into the waters between the Korean peninsula and Japan on Thursday, ahead of the South Korean president’s flight to Tokyo for a summit to discuss ways to counter the nuclear-armed North.
The US and South Korean forces kick-started their 11 days of joint drills, dubbed “Freedom Shield 23”, on Monday, held on a scale not seen since 2017 to counter the North’s growing threats.