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Days after Pyongyang tested its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), more than 800,000 young people in North Korea have volunteered to join the army to fight "US imperialists", state media reported on Saturday. This can be seen as a response to enhanced security cooperation between Seoul and Washington, which this week began the largest joint military exercise in five years.
North Korea views all these drills as a precursor to an invasion and has repeatedly warned that it will take "severe" action in response. The official Korean Central News Agency has described the ongoing exercise as a US attempt to "provoke nuclear war", resulting in hundreds and thousands of people signing up to fight US imperialism. The young volunteers are determined to "mercilessly exterminate the war maniacs," so they joined the army to "defend the country," KCNA said.
"More than 800,000 officials and students of youth leagues across the country volunteered to rejoin the Korean People's Army" on Friday alone, he added.
Images of young North Koreans waiting in line to sign their names were released by Pyongyang official Rodong Sinmun. This comes after Kim Jong-un's military fired its largest and most powerful Hwasong-17 missile on Thursday, Pyongyang's second ICBM test this year. State media said the launch was in response to ongoing "frenzied" joint military exercises between the US and South Korea.
A Twitter user posted several pictures of the ceremony with the caption: “North Korean state publication Rodong Sinmun says more than 800,000 volunteers are ready to fight against the United States. The number of those joining the People's Army continues to grow." All because Kim Jong-un feels that the United States is "grossly encroaching on the DPRK's sovereignty."