Kim Jong-un burst into tears while asking North Korean women to have more children at a recent conference.
The 39-year-old leader has been filmed crying in front of thousands of women gathered at a National Mothers' Meeting in Pyongyang on Sunday (December 3).
The event - which is the first in 11 years - was put on amid a fall in the country's birth rate, which has prompted concern among the DPRK's (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) top officials.
Jong-un addressed the audience as "Dear Mothers" and said: "Preventing a decline in birth rates and good childcare are all of our housekeeping duties we need to handle while working with mothers," as cited by The Independent.Watch Kim Jong-un's emotional speech below:
Many people in the large audience - made up of women dressed in traditional multi-colored garments - openly wept along with their leader.
Jong-un - who is speculated to have three children - contended that the country was being faced with a host of "social tasks that our mothers should join to tackle," adding that the "tasks" included "bringing up their children so that they will steadfastly carry forward our revolution".
As well as "eliminating the recently-increasing non-socialist practices, promoting family harmony and social unity, establishing a sound way of cultural and moral life, making the communist virtues and traits of helping and leading one another forward prevail over our society, stopping the declining birth rate, and taking good care of children and educating them effectively".
He explained that these values "belong to our common family affairs, which we need to deal with by joining hands with our mothers".
According to The Telegraph, the United Nations Population Fund and the World Bank disclosed that North Korea's fertility rate has hovered around 1.79-1.8 children per woman since 2020.
It dropped from a high of 4.05 in the late 1960s to below 2.1 by the late 1990s due to birth control programs implemented in the 1970s and 80s to slow postwar population growth.
In addition to this, the country's fertility rate suffered a major decline due to a famine in the mid-1990s that was estimated to have killed hundreds of thousands of people, per a report published by Seoul-based Hyundai Research Institute.
"Given North Korea lacks resources and technological advancements, it could face difficulties to revive and develop its manufacturing industry if sufficient labor forces are not provided," the institute report said, as cited by ABC News.
However, the fall remains more than its wealthier rival South Korea, which saw a record low of 0.78 last year, while Japan saw its figure drop to 1.26.
It has been reported that the country - which has a population of about 25 million people - has introduced a set of benefits for families with three or more children.
These include preferential free housing arrangements, state sponsorships, free food, pharmaceutical and household goods, and educational perks for children.
Furthermore, at the conference, Jong-un reminded parents to stop foreign influence on young children, instructing them to send their kids to perform hard labor for the state to correct bad behavior that is not "our style".