SEOUL – North Korea said on Saturday that some 3.5 million youths and retired soldiers have sought to enlist in the army to fight against the United States, as tensions between Washington and Pyongyang continued to mount.
North Korean state-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun reported on Saturday that 3.47 million students, young workers and retired soldiers had asked to join the armed forces in the three days since Aug. 7 when the regime announced a retaliation against a new round of United Nations sanctions.
“All the people are rising up across the country to retaliate against the US thousands of times,” the Workers’ Party newspaper said.
North Korea has a population of 25 million, with an army of between 700,000 and 1.3 million members.
North Korean state media on Wednesday showed images of a mobilization of tens of thousands of citizens parading through Kim Il-sung square in Pyongyang carrying banners in defense of Kim Jong-un and denouncing the latest UN sanctions to punish the regime for its recent missile launches.
State news agency KCNA has reported such mobilizations all over the country on Thursday and Friday.
Tensions between Pyongyang and Washington have been escalating due to North Korea’s tests of nuclear and inter-continental ballistic missile.
US President Donald Trump this week warned North Korea he would respond with “fire and fury like the world has never seen” if Kim Jong-un’s regime did not cease to issue threats to the US and its allies.