North Korean state media has been touting new claims of mass enlistments amid “an atmosphere of war” and urgent defense preparedness in response to ongoing joint US-South Korea drills, which are the largest in five years.
The state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) initially over the weekend cited a figure of 800,000 citizens having newly signed up for military service, most of them young people, while other state-linked sources are saying it’s well over one million enlistees. By Monday the number jumped significantly to claims of around 1.4 million people enlisting.
“Amidst soaring anger and hostility toward the US imperialists and the South Korean puppet traitors going mad over the reckless nuclear war provocation targeting the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the ranks of hot-blooded youths bravely and vigorously set out to defend the homeland are growing day by day is growing,” a Pyongyang statement said.
The reports follow the North Korean government holding a major new recruiting drive, hosting events across the country while conducting near daily test launches of projectiles – including the latest on Sunday which included a ‘mock nuclear warhead’ as a warning to Seoul and Washington.
There are around 50,000 Wagner Group fighters currently deployed to Ukraine. The US has designated the Wagner group as a “transnational criminal organization” while citing ties with North Korea.
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