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Acting president pledges 'all efforts' to support couples seeking to have babies

All News 11:40 January 13, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 13 (Yonhap) -- Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn on Friday pledged full support for couples who wish to have babies, as South Korea wrestles with a low birthrate which threatens its future growth.

During his visit to the National Medical Center in central Seoul, Hwang instructed government officials to ensure that couples struggling with fertility problems can learn about and capitalize on the government program designed to support them.

"(The government) will make all efforts to ensure that there are no couples forced to give up having children due to the financial burden and psychological pain," Hwang said while visiting the fertility center of the hospital.

To boost the country's fertility rate, the government has been carrying out a series of policy initiatives such as a flextime system to help women maintain work-family balance. The country's fertility rate has hovered around 1.2 since it dropped to a record low of 1.08 in 2005.

The acting president also stressed the need for concerted efforts to change any wrong perceptions about those with fertility problems.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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