LSouth Korean President, Yoon, Pledges New Ministry To Address Low Birth Rate
South Korean President, Yoon Suk Yeol Photo credit: Reuters

South Korean President, Yoon, Pledges New Ministry To Address Low Birth Rate

2 weeks ago
1 min read

South Korean President, Yoon Suk Yeol, has announced plans to establish a new ministry aimed at tackling the country’s persistently low birth rate, which he described as a “national emergency.”

Speaking at his first press conference in two years, President Yoon expressed his intention to seek the parliament’s cooperation in creating the proposed ministry, to be named the Low Birth Rate Counter-planning ministry. This is coming a month after his ruling People Power Party failed to gain majority in the country’s mid-term parliamentary elections.

President Yoon emphasized the severity of the situation, stating, “We will mobilize all of the nation’s capabilities to overcome the low birth rate, which can be considered a national emergency.” South Korea has been experiencing the lowest birth rate in the world for the sixth consecutive year. In 2023, the birth rate dropped to 0.72, down from 0.78 in 2022, indicating that for every 100 Korean women, only 72 babies are expected to be born over their lifetimes.

The issue of low birth rates is not unique to South Korea, as several other Asian countries, including Japan, China, Taiwan, and Singapore, are also facing similar challenges.

In an effort to address it, the South Korean government has implemented various measures such as cash subsidies, childcare services, and support for infertility treatment. However, despite spending more than $200 billion over the past 16 years to boost the population, these efforts have not been successful in reversing the declining birth rate.

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President Yoon pledged to improve the nation’s economy as a means to combat the declining birth rate. He emphasized the importance of identifying and addressing the challenges faced by each citizen, stating, “Corporate growth and job creation are important too but what I think is more important is to try harder to look for what is inconvenient in the life of each and every person and to resolve them.”

President Yoon aims to address the low birth rate issue within the next three years of his tenure, highlighting the urgency and priority he places on this critical national issue. He added that “We will go beyond simple welfare policies and make it a national agenda.”



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