N.Korea urges women to have more kids as it marks Mother's Day

by IANS |

Seoul, Nov 16 (IANS) North Korea, which used to limit childbirth in the 1970s and 80s, called on women to have more children as the country marked Mother's Day on Thursday, saying it is their "duty" to nurture the "pillars of the future".

The reclusive country has shifted its policy to boost the fertility rate, which fell in the wake of a major famine crisis in the 90s, reports Yonhap News Agency.

"Party organisations should establish a spirit of enthusiastically promoting and helping mothers who have given birth to and raise many children," the North's main newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, said in an editorial.

The newspaper stressed that mothers should always become "role models" for their children and raise them as "outstanding individuals that loyally uphold their party and nation".

The North's Korean Central TV reported that shops selling flowers and cosmetics products were bustling with people buying gifts for Mother's Day.

In a separate statement, the North's Foreign Ministry said the government awards mothers who give birth to many children for contributing to the policy goals of the ruling Workers' Party.

In April, the party announced a plan to give state awards and medals to women who have given birth and raised many children.

Last year, North Korea's total fertility rate -- the average number of children that are born to a woman over her lifetime -- came to 1.8, according to the data by UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.

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