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North Korea's Military Is Getting Millions Of New Volunteers, According To North Korean Propaganda
As talks of an all-out war with the United States rage on, 4.7 million patriotic “students and workers,” including more than a million women, have volunteered to join the North Korean military. At least, that’s what the North Korean state-controlled media said Sept. 28.
The country, which only boasts a population of around 25 million, does have one of the largest ground armies, according to a June report from Newsweek. It is also one of a handful of countries with compulsory military service, even for female citizens. Which sort of leads one to wonder how the Hermit Nation would have one-fifth of its undernourished populace suddenly, uh, volunteer for service.
Conditions in the North Korean military are thought to be abysmal, with men being forced to serve 10 years, and women serving 7. Rumors even suggest that they are given nothing to eat but a few potatoes a day.
In 2014, the State Department surmised that North Korean ground force hovers around 1.2 million troops, which would make its the army fourth-largest in the world after China, India, and the United States. But at any given time, the army is also believed to have 6 or 7 million reservists ready to jump into action at a moment’s notice.
If you’re slightly skeptical of Rodong Sinmum’s claims about millions of hardy North Koreans signing up for service, you’re probably pretty smart. The paper releases statements about millions of volunteers enlisting whenever tensions escalate, according to the Washington Post. In fact, earlier this summer, the state-run paper suggested 3.5 million people enlisted when United Nations sanctions on Pyongyang were increased.
As we all know, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un’s words have historically been stronger than his actions, his military, and his nuclear arsenal.
We certainly hope that’s the case, as retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Rob Givens, a veteran of Korea service, recently told the Los Angeles Times that a war with the country could result in at least 20,000 deaths.
“Too many Americans have the view that it would be like the invasion of Iraq or Afghanistan, or like combat operations in Libya or Syria, but it wouldn’t remotely resemble that,’’ he said. “There is only one way that this war ends: with North Korea’s defeat — but at what cost?”
Video footage of a purported "bombing of Kurd civilians" by Turkish military forces shown on ABC News appeared to be a nighttime firing of tracer rounds at a Kentucky gun range.
For U.S. service members who have fought alongside the Kurds, President Donald Trump's decision to approve repositioning U.S. forces in Syria ahead of Turkey's invasion is a naked betrayal of valued allies.
"I am ashamed for the first time in my career," one unnamed special operator told Fox News Jennifer Griffin.
In a Twitter thread that went viral, Griffin wrote the soldier told her the Kurds were continuing to support the United States by guarding tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners even though Turkey had nullified an arrangement under which U.S. and Turkish troops were conducting joint patrols in northeastern Syria to allow the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, to withdraw.
"The Kurds are sticking by us," the soldier told Griffin. "No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us."
The U.S. military's seemingly never-ending mission supporting civil authorities along the southwestern border will last at least another year.
On Sept. 3, Defense Secretary Mark Esper approved a request from the Department of Homeland Security to provide a total of up to 5,500 troops along the border until Sept. 30, 2020, Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson, commander of U.S. Army North, said on Monday.
Editor's note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia announced on Monday it would hold a large test of its Strategic Missile Forces that will see it fire ballistic and cruise missiles from the land, sea and air this week.
The exercise, from Oct. 15-17, will involve around 12,000 military personnel, as well as aircraft, including strategic nuclear bombers, surface ships and submarines, Russia's Ministry of Defense said in a statement.