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North Korea claims nearly 800,000 have signed up to fight against the US

North Korea says about 800,000 of its citizens have volunteered or re-enlisted in the nation’s military to fight against the United States, North Korea’s state-run newspaper reported on Saturday.

About 800,000 students and workers across the country expressed their desire to enlist or re-enlist in the military to face the United States on Friday alone, the Rodong Sinmun newspaper reported.

“The growing enthusiasm of young people to join the army is a demonstration of the unshakable will of the young generation to mercilessly exterminate the war maniacs who are trying their last strength to eliminate our precious socialist country and achieve the great cause of national reunification without failure and a clear display of their ardent patriotism,” said Rodong Sinmun of the North.

The North Korean claim came after North Korea fired a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Thursday in response to ongoing US-South Korean military exercises. North Korea fired an ICBM into the sea between the Korean Peninsula and Japan on Thursday, hours before South Korea’s president flew to Tokyo for a summit to discuss ways to counter the nuclear-armed North.

The Nordic ballistic missiles are banned under UN Security Council resolutions and the launch drew condemnation from governments in Seoul, Washington and Tokyo. South Korean and U.S. forces began an 11-day joint exercise called “Freedom Shield 23” on Monday, held on a scale not seen since 2017, to counter growing threats from the North. Kim accused the United States and South Korea of ​​raising tensions with military exercises.

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