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(LifeSiteNews) — South Korea’s president has declared the country’s low birth rate a “national emergency” and announced a new government ministry to address the problem.

In a televised press conference on May 9, President Yoon Suk Yeol said, “We will mobilize all of the nation’s capabilities to overcome the low birth rate, which can be considered a national emergency.”

He announced he would ask for the parliament’s support to establish a new “Ministry of Low Birth Rate Counter Planning.”

South Korea has had the lowest fertility rate in the world for years, and the average number of babies per woman dropped to a new low of 0.72 in 2023, down from 0.78 the previous year.

Despite the government’s efforts to increase the birth rate by spending over $200 billion on initiatives meant to encourage larger families, including infertility treatment, cash subsidies, and childcare services, the country’s birth rate declined for the fourth year in a row in 2023.

A Korean Construction corporation made headlines this year for offering employees $75,000 for each baby they have. “If Korea’s birth rate remains low, the country will face extinction,” Lee Joong-keun, chairman of the Booyoung Group, warned.

Like most other countries in the world, South Korea is suffering from the fallout of the sexual revolution that has led to collapsing birth rates due to the normalization of abortion, contraception, divorce, and the general breakdown of the family. Economic incentives alone are likely insufficient to address the “national emergency” of plummeting fertility rates.

LifeSiteNews journalist Emily Mangiaracina described the change in attitude caused by the sexual revolution:

Empowered by the birth control pill, it decoupled sex from babies in practice, a monumental social shift that triggered a whole slew of effects: Big rises in premarital sex, the view of sex as a recreational activity, changed relationship goals and dynamics, increased illegal abortions and demand for legal abortion (since women treated a pill only about 90 percent effective in practice as 100 percent effective), a rise in adultery, a rise in divorce… the effects were nothing short of monumental.

READ: New ‘Birthgap’ film shows how explosion in childlessness is driving population collapse

According to YouTuber Stephan Park, who grew up in South Korea and runs the YouTube channel Asian Boss, Korean men face the additional problem of being expected to own a house when they marry, which is very difficult under the country’s current economic conditions.

“There are all the societal pressures that if you get married, guys are the ones that are supposed to buy the house, to have the house ready, which is impossible to have if you are a 30-year-old guy … with the average house prices you’ll never be able to afford one in your lifetime,” Park explained.

“So that’s the most common thing we hear: ‘I cannot afford to get married,’” he added.

According to some projections, South Korea’s and multiple other Western and Asian populations are expected to be cut in half by the year 2100 if the current trends continue.

READ: Birth rates are hitting record lows across the West, and extreme pro-abortion policies are to blame