In a video from a recent event, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wipes tears and appears emotional as he calls for steps to address the country’s declining birth rates and encourages women to have more children.
He is seen in the video, which is circulating on social media, gazing down and wiping away tears. Numerous spectators can also be seen wiping away their tears.
Kim was cited as saying during the mothers’ day gathering in Pyongyang on Sunday by the news agency Reuters. “Preventing a decline in birth rates and good childcare are all of our housekeeping duties we need to handle while working with mothers”
“I too always think about mothers when I have a hard time dealing with the party and the state’s work,” Kim added.
According to predictions from the UN Population Fund, North Korea’s fertility rate—the average number of children born to a woman—was estimated to be 1.8 in 2023. This is despite a protracted decline in the rate during the previous few decades. Japan’s fertility rate dropped to 1.26 last year, while South Korea’s fell to a historic low of 0.78.
There is a paediatrician shortage in South Korea as a result of declining birth rates, but one city is using matchmaking to increase birth rates.