Kim Jong-un accused the US and South Korea of escalating tensions.
Pyongyang reported that it had assembled an army of about 800,000 people in a day. They are allegedly ready to fight against the United States.
“The growing enthusiasm of young people to join the army is a demonstration of the unwavering will of the younger generation to ruthlessly destroy the war maniacs who are making their last efforts to destroy our precious socialist country,” writes Reuters.
Pyongyang’s statement came after North Korea fired a Hwaseong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile on Thursday, March 16, in response to U.S. and South Korean military exercises.
North Korea launched an ICBM into the sea between the Korean Peninsula and Japan on Thursday, hours before the South Korean president flew to Tokyo for a summit that discussed ways to counter a nuclear-armed North.
North Korean ballistic missiles are banned by UN Security Council resolutions and the launch has drawn condemnation from the governments of Seoul, Washington and Tokyo.
South Korean and US forces began the 11-day joint Freedom Shield 23 exercise on Monday, March 13. They are to counter the growing threats from North Korea. In turn, Kim Jong-un accused the United States and South Korea of heightening tensions due to military exercises.
The situation with North Korea – the latest information
Pyongyang fired rockets ahead of a US-South Korean military exercise called “Freedom Shield”. The DPRK condemned the joint training and called it a rehearsal for an invasion.
At the same time, the sister of the North Korean dictator Kim Yo-jong said that the downing of even a rocket would be considered as a declaration of war. In late February, she threatened to increase the number of missile launches if the United States and South Korea did not stop joint exercises.
On March 11, it became known that Kim Jong-un ordered the military to intensify exercises to deter and respond to a “real war” if necessary.