N. Korea: 3.5 million sign up to fight against US (Lead)
Seoul Aug 12 (IANS) North Korea on Saturday said that nearly 3.5 million youths and retired soldiers have sought to enlist in the Army to fight against the US as tensions between Washington and Pyongyang continued to mount.
North Korean state-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun reported on Saturday that a total of 3.47 million people including students young workers and retired soldiers had asked to join the armed forces after the regime announced a retaliation against the US on August 7 for its support of the new UNSC sanctions. On August 5 the UNSC voted unanimously for fresh sanctions on Pyongyang following two intercontinental ballistic missiles tests in July prompting the country to warn of a "stern action of justice" against the US and a missile strike around the US territory of Guam. "All the people are rising up across the country to retaliate against the US thousands of times " Yonhap news agency quoted the Workers Party newspaper as saying. North Korea has a population of 25 million with an Army of between 700 000 and 1.3 million members. The state media earlier this week showed images of a mobilisation of tens of thousands of citizens parading through Kim Il-sung square in Pyongyang carrying banners in defence of Kim Jong-un and denouncing the latest UN sanctions. State news agency KCNA reported such mobilisations all over the country on Thursday and Friday. Tensions between Pyongyang and Washington have been escalating due to North Korea s tests of nuclear and inter-continental ballistic missile. US President Donald Trump this week warned North Korea he would respond with "fire and fury like the world has never seen" if Kim s regime did not cease to issue threats to the US and its allies. --IANS soni/bg