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800,000 North Koreans volunteer for war against US: Report

File photo of North Korean soldiers gathering at the Ministry of National Defense in the capital Pyongyang on May 16, 2022. (Photo by the official North Korean Central News Agency)

North Korea's state newspaper says hundreds of thousands of the country's citizens have declared their readiness to fight in a potential war against the United States.

On Friday alone, some 800,000 North Korean workers and students volunteered to either enlist or reenlist in the country's military to fight in such warfare, the Rodong Sinmun newspaper reported on Saturday.

The report said the "Youth Vanguard rose up at once to join the war to defend the homeland and the war to destroy the enemy," referred to in the article as the "US Imperialists and puppet traitors [who] are trying to destroy our independence and right to live and develop."

"Provocations" by Washington and Seoul "are crossing a line that can no longer be tolerated" and that North Korea seeks to demonstrate it can "overpower" enemy military capabilities, it added.

The US and South Korea have launched a flurry of war games since the beginning of the year, despite the North's stern warnings.

The allies launched the most recent of the military drills, dubbed "Freedom Shield 23," on Monday. The 11-day drills are being held on a scale not seen since 2017, featuring field exercises, including amphibious landings.

Pyongyang views the war games as potential rehearsals for the invasion of its territory.

In retaliation, North Korea has stepped up its missile launches, which it has been using as means of warning the allies against further provocations in the Korean Peninsula. 

Most recently, Pyongyang fired its largest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) into the sea lying between North Korea and Japan.

On Friday, the North's state media released information and photos of the launch involving the country's Hwasong-17 ICBM that had taken place a day earlier.

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