North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called for efforts to address the country’s declining birthrate, calling the challenge “everyone’s duty to take care of their homes,” state media KCNA reported Monday.
While delivering the speech on demography, the North Korean leader became emotional and cried.
Kim Jong Un wiped his eyes with a white handkerchief in front of thousands of women gathered for a national meeting of mothers in the capital, Pyongyang.
Kim Jong Un CRIES while telling North Korean women to have more babies.
— Oli London (@OliLondonTV) December 5, 2023
Speaking at an event for mothers in the capital, Kim said the nation must “work with mothers” to prevent a decline in the birth rate and focus on providing good childcare services, Reuters reported.
Many in attendance wept with him during the carefully prepared event, which is being held for the first time in 11 years amid growing concern about falling birthrates.
While North Korea has released few details about its population trends, South Korea’s government estimates that the country’s birthrate has been steadily declining over the past decade, worrying a regime heavily dependent on manual labor and military service, bTV reports.
South Korea’s Unification Ministry said Kim’s address was the first time he had publicly acknowledged his country’s declining birthrate.