Seoul, Dec 4 (EFE).- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called Monday for measures to prevent the decline in birth rates and to support mothers in the country, believed to have been affected due to a food crisis as a result of the pandemic.
At an event dedicated to North Korean mothers, Kim spoke of the “central role” these women play in “bearing the heavy burden of continuing the true values and nature” of the country, according to state agency KCNA.
Mothers are “the powerful driving force that has sustained the struggle of an entire people to achieve respect and prosperity,” said the North Korean dictator at the fifth National Mothers’ Conference, held Sunday in Pyongyang.
Kim also spoke of the “problem of preventing a decline in the birth rate” and “providing good care and education for children,” issues that “must be resolved by working together with mothers.”
Although there are no official birth figures in North Korea, the United Nations Population Fund estimates the country’s most recent fertility rate is 1.8 children per woman.
This organization estimates that the rate has been falling steadily in North Korea in recent decades, although in its case the indicator is above neighboring countries such as South Korea or Japan, affected by an accelerated aging demographic.
North Korea has been hit by a food shortage due to the country tightening its borders following the coronavirus pandemic and a series of crop failures and unfavorable weather conditions, according to observers.
It is believed, however, that the food situation would have improved with the progressive reopening of trade with China in recent months. EFE