Nothing like an escalating war of words and fear of nuclear annihilation to boost your country's military enlistments. That's the narrative North Korea is now pushing, with state media claiming 4.7 million of its people have volunteered or re-enlisted, USA Today reports. That's roughly 20% of its population, and of those said to have signed up, more than 1.2 million are women, per the Rodong Sinmun newspaper. This after President Trump promised to "totally destroy" North Korea and other verbal sparring with Kim Jong Un and Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho. The Yonhap News Agency notes that whenever tensions are ratcheted up between the two countries, North Korea tends to try to spur solidarity with propaganda claims on a boost in military volunteering. It reportedly did the same when the UN Security Council approved new sanctions on Pyongyang in August.
In fact, these claims of nationalists rushing to serve their country have been circulating since at least August, Reuters reported then. The Express notes Kim Jong Un's "propaganda machine is in full force," claiming North Koreans are "furious" at the US. A state-controlled website says citizens are even calling for Trump's "beheading" and that his rhetoric against the North is "unprecedented rude nonsense." The Daily Star reports that the General Federation of Trade Unions of Korea, which represents about 1 million of the North's citizens, is also holding tight with Kim, noting workers are eager to supply "more strategic weapons" and "turn out in the do-or-die battle with the US." Meanwhile, if war were to break out, a retired Air Force brigadier general says the Pentagon estimates 20,000 would die daily in South Korea, per the Los Angeles Times. (Read more North Korea stories.)