North Korea said about 800,000 of its citizens volunteered to join or re-enlist in the country’s military to fight the United States, the state newspaper reported. Rodong Sinmun.
The information comes after Pyongyang launched its Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile on Thursday in response to ongoing military exercises by the United States and South Korea.
North Korea fired the missile into the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan on Thursday, hours before the South Korean president flew to Tokyo for a summit to discuss ways to counter nuclear threats from his neighbor.
North Korea’s ballistic missiles are banned under UN Security Council resolutions and the launch drew condemnation from the governments of South Korea, the United States and Japan.
South Korean and US forces began 11 days of joint drills, dubbed Freedom Shield 23, on a scale not seen since 2017 on Monday to counter growing threats from North Korea.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un accused Washington and Seoul of raising tensions with military exercises.