North Korea claims 800,000 students, workers join military to fight against U.S., South Korea

March 19, 2023
Ben Marquis

The United States and South Korea are currently conducting massive joint combined military field training exercises in and around the Korean Peninsula, which the communist regime of North Korea perceives as a hostile and provocative threat against its continued existence.

The so-called Democratic People's Republic of Korea announced on Saturday that more than 800,000 of its citizens had enlisted or reenlisted in the North Korean military in response to the perceived threat, Reuters reported.

The North Korean regime asserted that the surge of hundreds of thousands of enlistments and reenlistments all came on the same day, Friday, and was largely comprised of students and workers.

North Korea test launches multiple ballistic and cruise missiles

Reuters further reported that a regime-controlled media outlet stated, "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."

The North Korean claim followed the launch on Thursday of the regime's newest long-range intercontinental ballistic missile, the Hwasong-17, which landed in the Sea of Japan just hours ahead of a high-level meeting between the leaders of Japan and South Korea to discuss their shared problems with the nuclear-ambitious North.

According to NBC News, the ICBM was launched from the Pyongyang airport at a high trajectory that carried it to an altitude of 3,756 miles high and flew a distance of 621 miles before crashing into the water. North Korean media proudly broadcast the launch from multiple camera angles, including from cameras mounted to the missile itself that sent back images from space after it exited the atmosphere.

Military analysts said the test suggests that North Korea's ICBMs are capable of reaching the U.S. mainland if fired on a normal trajectory for ballistic missiles, though there are doubts that the regime has actually developed nuclear warheads to fit those missiles or survive atmospheric reentry.

The Thursday launch of the long-range ICBM followed multiple test launches earlier in the week of submarine-launched cruise missiles and short-range ballistic missiles that could conceivably pose a real threat to South Korea and Japan, as well as other U.S. allies and assets in the region.

North Korea's media, echoing dictator Kim Jong Un, said the tests were intended to "strike fear into the enemies" of the regime who were displaying "open hostility" via the ongoing joint combined military drills of the U.S. and South Korea.

Launches in reaction to joint U.S.-South Korea military drills

NPR reported that the joint military training exercises that began earlier in March are the biggest in years and involves both a computer simulation known as Freedom Shield 23 as well as combined field training drills known as Warrior Shield FTX.

The goal of the exercises is to test the "defense and response capabilities" of the U.S. and South Korea and to strengthen the two nations' "cooperation through air, land, sea, space, cyber, and special operations, and improve upon tactics, techniques, and procedures."

North Korea, of course, has denounced the drills as unnecessarily hostile provocations from "the U.S. imperialists and the South Korean puppet forces," and asserted that it was fully prepared to take "the toughest counteraction against the most vicious hostile plots of the U.S. and its followers."

North Korea demands U.N. intervention on its behalf

Meanwhile, Voice of America reported in early March that North Korea had even appealed to the United Nations to intervene and force the U.S. and South Korea to halt the military training exercises of a "clear aggressive nature" that was "irresponsibly raising the level of confrontation" between the rival nations.

North Korea further denounced the "extremely unfair, unbalanced" international sanctions imposed on it by the U.N. and others, and insisted, "The U.N. and the international community will have to strongly urge the U.S. and South Korea to immediately halt their provocative remarks and joint military exercises."

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