North Korean leader Kim Jong-un burst into tears while asking women to give birth to more children during a National Mothers’ Meeting in Pyongyang. The emotional appeal was a plea for an increase in the country’s birth rate, which he said is vital for strengthening the country.
Kim, visibly moved and seen wiping his eyes, addressed women as “Dear Mothers,” said that this request is their collective responsibility in combating the declining birth rate. The regime is reportedly offering families with 3 or more children benefits such as free housing, food, medicine, and educational perks.
As of 2023, North Korea’s fertility rate is estimated at 1.8, according to the United Nations Population Fund, reflecting a prolonged decline. Despite this, the rate remains relatively higher than in some neighboring countries facing similar demographic challenges.
The emotional atmosphere at the event was palpable, with audience members expressing solidarity through tears. Kim explained the shared responsibility of addressing the demographic issue and ensuring quality childcare and education, emphasizing the need for a collective effort in confronting these challenges. This plea comes against the backdrop of North Korea’s historical struggles, including food shortages and past famines.
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