SEOUL, Dec. 5 (Korea Bizwire) — North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has stressed the role of mothers in strengthening the internal solidarity of the regime at the first national meeting of mothers in 11 years, state media reported Tuesday.
Kim made the remark during his closing speech Monday at the Fifth National Congress of Mothers, which opened its two-day session Sunday in Pyongyang, according to the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
The North’s leader said mothers have the “primary revolutionary task” of preparing the younger generation well with family education in a bid to help them become the main force of society.
“Unless a mother becomes a communist, it is impossible for her to bring up her sons and daughters as communists and transform the members of her family into revolutionaries,” he was quoted as saying by the KCNA.
Experts said North Korea appears to have held the meeting in a bid to tighten social disciplines and help address the country’s low birth rate.
In his opening speech at the meeting Sunday, Kim stressed the role of mothers in resolving “non-social” problems and preventing a fall in the country’s birth rate.
North Korea’s total fertility rate — the number of children that are expected to be born to a women over her lifetime — came to 1.8 in 2023, according to data posted on the website of the U.N. Population Fund.
South Korea’s unification ministry said Kim publicly mentioned a decline in the birth rate for the first time, an indication that the nation is grappling with the issue.
“Adding to the existing policy of encouraging childbirths, Kim highlighted a struggle against non-social problems,” a ministry official told reporters on condition of anonymity.
“The congress appeared to be aimed at preventing an ideological deviation by the younger generation and propping up the regime by stressing the importance of family education,” the official said.
North Korea last held a national congress of mothers in 2012. The inaugural gathering took place in November 1961.