PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Are the United States and North Korea moving closer to another war?
Though often referred to as the "Forgotten War" in the United States, it is anything but forgotten in North Korea. The July 27 anniversary of the Korean War armistice is celebrated as a major national holiday called "Victory in the Fatherland Liberation War Day" and is the culmination of "Anti-American Imperialist Month," which begins on June 23, the day the 1950-53 Korean War began.
As young North Koreans took to plazas and public spaces across the capital on Thursday to join in mass dancing and other celebrations, The Associated Press asked several university students what they thought of the possibility that another war could break out in their lifetime.
Not surprisingly, their answers closely reflect the North Korean government's official statements.
From one, the suggestion that peace talks might work.
From another, a vow to kill every last American imperialist.
Kim Hyo Sim, 21, student at Pyongyang City Commercial College:
"The U.S. is always putting sanctions on our country and is always trying to isolate us. But just as we won a victory under the leadership of our generalissimos (in the Korean War), we will win under the wise leadership of Marshal Kim Jong Un. I'd say our two countries are now under the same conditions of war as in the past, so I think the situation then and now isn't so different. Even though we don't want to have a war with anyone, if the U.S. provokes a war with our country we will surely win."
"Our country's national defenses have been strengthened and the U.S. has been viciously clinging to sanctions, so I think there is much more of a possibility of the U.S. provoking us now. But I'm also very confident of victory."
Jo Kwang Song, 29, an information technology major at Kim Il Sung University:
"As we are the young generation growing up, I don't think there will be a war because we have the supreme leader Kim Jong Un and strong national defense. The U.S. will not provoke a war against us. I'm not concerned at all because if a war is provoked against our country we will win.
"If war breaks out, I will take up a gun myself.
"Of course, we wish for peace. But, if the U.S. clings to provoking our country, peace will never come. The U.S. should come out for peaceful negotiations. Whatever, though, we will follow the marshal and we will always win. The U.S. should put an end to its hostile policy toward our country."
Ri Su Jong, 18, also a student at Pyongyang City Commercial College:4 comments on this story
"We will follow the orders of supreme leader Kim Jong Un. We have launched our ICBM and we will be fully prepared. If another war breaks out, we will be celebrating another great victory just like the one we are celebrating today."
"If the U.S. never touches us, then everything will be OK."
Jon Kuk Chol, 31, student at the Pyongyang Printing and Publishing University:
"Because our country possesses nuclear weapons and ICBMs, war won't break out. But if a war does break out, we will kill all the imperialists so that there won't even be anyone left alive to sign the papers of surrender."