VIDEO | Kim wept as he addressed North Korean women: For the sake of the country, give birth to more children
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un broke down in tears at a recent meeting with women, where he called for efforts to combat the country's declining birthrate. In the footage, which went viral on social media, Kim Jong-un can be seen looking down and wiping tears from his face.
"Preventing the decline in the birth rate and taking good care of children are all our domestic duties that we have to do while working with mothers," he said, as quoted by the Reuters news agency.
The moment happened at the National Meeting of Mothers organized in Pyongyang. At the rally, Kim Jong-un urged women to give birth to more children "for the good of the party, the revolution and the whole country." Thanking mothers for their role in strengthening national power, Kim Jong-un said, "I always think of mothers when I find it difficult to deal with party and state work."
Kim Jong-un has been filmed crying while appealing to North Korea's women to have more children and raise them to love the authoritarian state.
The North Korean despot was spotted dabbing his eyes with a white handkerchief while addressing thousands of women gathered at a… pic.twitter.com/S82CaWtHFM
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The United Nations Population Fund estimates North Korea's fertility rate at 1,8 amid a long-term decline in the rate in recent decades. This is still more than in some neighboring countries. In South Korea, the fertility rate fell to a record low of 0,78 last year. Japan's fertility rate fell to 1,26. South Korea is also facing a shortage of pediatricians, reports claim.
North Korea has about 25 million inhabitants. The isolated country faces severe food shortages due to a deadly famine in the 1990s and other natural disasters.