North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, became emotional as he urged the women of the nation to increase childbirth due to the declining birthrate. This poignant moment took place on Sunday, December 3, during his address at the National Mothers’ Meeting in Pyongyang.
According to estimates from the United Nations Population Fund, North Korea’s average fertility rate was recorded at 1.8 in 2023, indicating a sustained decrease in birth rates over recent decades. While some neighborhoods in North Korea exhibited relatively higher fertility rates, others witnessed a downward trend.
A report from the Hyundai Research Institute in Seoul raised concerns about North Korea’s ability to revive and develop its manufacturing industry without a sufficient labor force. Kim Jong-un’s plea highlighted the severity of the situation.
The broader issue of declining birth rates is not unique to North Korea; South Korea and Japan are also grappling with a similar challenge. South Korea experienced a record-low fertility rate of 0.78 the previous year, exacerbating a shortage of pediatricians. In response, the city organized matchmaking events to encourage childbirth.
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