During a Sunday meeting, supreme leader of North Korea Kim Jong Un issued an emotional plea to his country’s women, urging them to have more children.
“Preventing a decline in birth rates and good childcare are all of our housekeeping duties we need to handle while working with mothers,” Kim said during his address to a National Mothers Meeting in the country’s capital. He later burst into tears and could be seen wiping his face with a handkerchief.
Many audience members were also seen crying and dabbing their eyes with handkerchiefs during the meeting.
“[W]e are confronted with a host of social tasks that our mothers should join to tackle,” Kim said, listing socialist education, collectivism and stemming the birth rate problems as such tasks, the Daily Mail reported.
According to the United Nations Population Fund, the fertility rate of the country in 2023 was 1.8, below the population replacement level of 2.1 children per woman. However, this problem is not specific to North Korea.
In 2017, nearly half of the world’s population resided in countries with a below replacement fertility level, according to the Institute for Family Studies. For example, South Korea’s fertility rate in 2022 was 0.78, according to NBC News, and South Korea’s issues with fertility occur despite sharing none of its northern counterpart’s other issues.
North Korea is among the poorest countries in the world, with about 60% of the population falling below the poverty line, according to the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. Additionally, the country has historically suffered from food shortages, the BBC reported.
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.