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Minister nominees’ columns on low birth rate cause a stir

Minister nominees’ columns on low birth rate cause a stir

Posted April. 12, 2022 08:29,   

Updated April. 12, 2022 08:29


Health Minister nominee Chung Ho-young and Trade Minister nominee Lee Chang-yang have caused a stir for their views on low birth rate they revealed in newspaper columns.

In a column “Road to Patriotism,” which he wrote for a local newspaper in 2012, Health Minister nominee Chung wrote, “There has never been a time when it was easier to become a patriot than now,” adding, “You can easily become a prospective patriot right away just by getting married, and if it leads to childbirth, you will finally join the ranks of true patriots.” Chung went on to say, “According to some calculations, Koreans will become extinct in the year 2900. If you have any doubts, look around. Only one out of 10 women in their 20s got married.”

Regarding the reasons for encouraging marriage, Chung presented the results of a study from an American university that found lung cancer patients with a spouse live longer than those without a spouse, saying, “Marriage is the most effective cure for cancer.” Concluding his column, Chung said, “Now is the time for all people to be a matchmaker. It is the road to patriotism.” After his column became controversial, Chung said through the Ministry of Health and Welfare on Monday that it was his opinion as a surgeon 10 years ago expressed out of frustration that the country’s birth rate was in free fall.

Meanwhile, Trade Minister nominee Lee wrote a column for a daily newspaper in 2010 while he served as professor at KAIST Business School. In the column, he said, “From an economic perspective, introducing a levy for avoiding childbirth despite having financial capability can be a meaningful policy alternative.” Lee tried to explain himself on Sunday, saying it was an introduction of a new economic viewpoint on low birth rate.

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