As anxious American eyes focus on Russian President Vladimir Putin and China, North Korea’s state-run media announced on Saturday that, in just one day, nearly 800,000 students and workers have joined the nation’s military to “mercilessly wipe out” its “enemies.”
The news, reported by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) state-controlled newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, comes one day after North Korea launched a ballistic missile into the sea between South Korea and Japan.
The news outlet noted that the staggering number of recruits included those North Koreans who wished to re-enlist.
“The soaring enthusiasm of young people to join the army is a demonstration of the unshakable 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,” Rondong Sinmun reported, according to Fox News.
North Korea says it aimed to ‘strike fear into the enemies’ with latest missile test https://t.co/589vIpdQdo pic.twitter.com/NmGjQfl5Bn
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) March 18, 2023
The push for new soldiers and nerve-rattling missile launches are in response to the commencement of 11 days of joint military drills on March 13 between the U.S. and South Korea, known as “Operation Freedom Shield 23.”
On Sunday, North Korea launched off its east coast another short-range ballistic missile, tipped with a mock nuclear warhead — a move it says was meant to simulate a nuclear counterattack. It marked the fifth missile launch this month and was accompanied by North Korea’s own military exercises, “guided” by the nation’s Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un.
Meanwhile, Jong-un has ordered his troops to ready themselves for an “immediate and overwhelming” nuclear counterattack against North Korea’s enemies, the Daily Mail reports.
According to North Korean state media, KCNA, the exercises and missile launch sought to bolster the nation’s “war deterrence and nuclear counterattack capability.”
The Supreme Leader specifically called out the “reckless” and “aggressive” actions of his enemies, understood to be the U.S. and South Korea.
“The present situation, in which the enemies are getting ever more pronounced in their moves for aggression against the DPRK, urgently requires the DPRK to bolster up its nuclear war deterrence exponentially,” he said, according to KCNA. “The nuclear force of the DPRK will strongly deter, control and manage the enemy’s reckless moves and provocations with its high war readiness, and carry out its important mission without hesitation in case of any unwanted situation.”
The drills, Jong-un said, make his nation’s army “familiar with any unexpected circumstances and make them more perfectly prepared in their active posture of making an immediate and overwhelming nuclear counterattack [at] anytime.”
And to show just how enthusiastic the North Korean people are about defending the DPRK, KCNA upped the number of new recruits from 800,000 to more than 1.4 million.
Now, it should be noted that North Korea has a “Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance” with China. Originally signed in 1961, Jong-un and Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to renew the treaty in 2021.
Under it, “North Korea and China are committed to offering one another immediate military and other aid in the event of an attack,” NBC reported at the time.
North Korea launches at least one ballistic missile on last day of record-setting year https://t.co/WrV1OnWYGd pic.twitter.com/yBW6CGQd6F
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) December 31, 2022
And, of course, China and Russia famously signed a “no-limits” treaty as the Beijing Olympics kicked off in 2022.
In other words, the three socialist nations have committed to come to the defense of each other should any of them believe they have been attacked, making North Korea’s current move toward nuclear readiness all the more concerning in a world that appears to many to be intentionally careening toward World War III.
Still, the Pentagon insists the joint military exercises are an effective “deterrence” that will keep the U.S. and its allies safe.
“I think what’s important for people to understand is, one, deterrence continues to work,” Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters last week, according to Fox News. “Despite launching missiles into the ocean, North Korea is not attacking, nor should they, and that the United States, Japan, South Korea and other allies and partners in the region will continue to work together to expand that deterrence and to keep our countries safe.”
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