New Delhi: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wipes tears and looks emotional in a video from a recent event where he called for efforts to tackle the country’s falling birth rates and urged women to have more children.
In the video, which is going viral on social media, he can be seen looking down and wiping away tears. Many in the audience are also seen dabbing tears.
“Preventing a decline in birth rates and good childcare are all of our housekeeping duties we need to handle while working with mothers,” Kim was quoted as saying by the news agency Reuters at the event for mothers in Pyongyang on Sunday.
He also thanked mothers for their role in strengthening national power.
“I too always think about mothers when I have a hard time dealing with the party and the state’s work,” Kim said.
The United Nations Population Fund estimates that as of 2023, the fertility rate, or the average number of children being born to a woman, stood at 1.8 in North Korea, amid an extended fall in the rate during recent decades.
The fertility rate remains higher than in some of North Korea’s neighbours, which have been grappling with a similar downward trend.
South Korea saw its fertility rate drop to a record low of 0.78 last year, while Japan saw its figure drop to 1.26.
The dwindling birth rates in South Korea have caused a shortage of pediatricians, while one city is hosting matchmaking events to boost birth rates.
North Korea, which has a population of about 25 million people, has in recent decades also had to contend with serious food shortages, including deadly famine in the 1990s, often a result of natural disasters such as floods damaging harvests.
(With agency inputs)
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)