S. Korean president announces new ministry to tackle national birth rate crisis

S. Korean president announces new ministry to tackle national birth rate crisis

SEOUL,. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol announced the establishment of a new ministry to address the country’s declining birth rate, which he described as a “national emergency.”

On the second anniversary of his presidency, Yoon emphasised the need to fully mobilise all state capabilities to tackle the demographic crisis.

He urged the opposition-controlled National Assembly to cooperate in revising the government organisation law for the swift launch of the ministry.

“In order to overcome the low birth rate, which can be considered a national emergency, we will fully mobilise all of the state’s capabilities,” Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency quoted Yoon as saying.

The new ministry, tentatively named the “Low Birth Response Planning Ministry,” will be led by a deputy prime minister for social affairs.

The deputy prime minister will be responsible for developing national policies across the education, labour and welfare sectors, as part of the government’s national agenda to reverse the declining birth rate trend.

Yoon also pledged to increase the basic monthly pension for senior citizens to 400,000 won from the current 330,000 won within his term.

Policymakers are increasingly concerned over South Korea’s steady population decline, with the fertility rate reaching a low of 0.72 in 2023.

According to the Korean Peninsula Population Institute for the Future, the East Asian nation’s economically active population could plunge by nearly 10 million by 2044.

South Korea’s total population was 51.71 million in 2023 with a projected drop to 39.69 million by 2065.

— BERNAMA

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