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President Yongin directs the establishment of the Office of the Senior Secretary to the President for Low Birth Rates in the Presidential Office

President Yoon Seok-yeol gestures to the moderator to take additional questions from reporters during a press conference marking the second anniversary of his inauguration held in the briefing room of the Yongsan Presidential Office building on the 9th. 2024.5.9. News 1

The Office of the Senior Secretary to the President for Low Birth Rate, which will be in charge of the ‘Low Birth Response Planning Department’ (tentative name), which is a ministry that responds to low birth rates and aging, will be established in the Presidential Office.

Presidential Office Spokesperson Kim Soo-kyung said in a written briefing on the 13th that President Yoon Seok-yeol, who presided over a meeting of senior secretaries on the same day, instructed to “prepare for the establishment of the Office of Senior Secretary to the Low Birth Rate.”

Previously, at a press conference on the 2nd anniversary of his inauguration held on the 9th, President Yoon defined the issue of low birth rate and aging as a ‘national emergency’, elevated the existing Presidential Committee on Low Birth Rate and Aging Society (ministerial level) to the deputy prime minister level, and established the Low Birth Rate Response Planning Department. I came up with a plan to make it.

In relation to this, an official from the President’s Office said, “The topic of the Low Birth Response Planning Department came up during the President’s press conference, and he thought that if that were the case, there would be a need for a chief in charge of the low birth rate issue within the President’s Office, so he told us to prepare a senior office for low birth rates.” explained.

He continued, “I think there is probably no disagreement that the low birth rate issue is one of the biggest problems in our society, on which the sustainability of the country depends.” He added, “The existing chief minister’s office may be responsible for the low birth rate issue, but the country is the most important issue right now.” He added, “Because they are showing their will to think and solve the problem, it would be better to create a separate office to take charge of it.”

However, it is reported that the formation of the chief office is still in its early stages. This official said, “When creating a senior office, it can be announced with a certain outline in place or at a starting point, but the low birth senior office can be seen as being in the starting stage.”

At the same time, he said, “There is no plan to set a specific timeline and complete everything by when.” He added, “We will listen carefully to the opinions of various circles, find the right person, and form the Office of Senior Vice President for Low Birth Rates as soon as possible.”

It is expected that the newly established Office of Senior Secretary for Low Birth will be assigned to the Director of Policy. If the Office of the Senior Secretary to the President for Low Birth is added, the President’s Office will have a system of ‘3 heads of offices (Secretary, Policy, and Head of Security) and 8 senior secretaries (Public Affairs, Civil Affairs, Civil Society, Public Relations, Economy, Society, Science and Technology, and Senior Secretary to the President for Low Birth Rate)’.

With President Yoon ordering the establishment of a senior office for low birth rates, movements to establish a new low birth rate department are expected to begin in earnest. Since establishing a new ministry requires revising the Government Organization Act, cooperation from the opposition Democratic Party of Korea is essential. In addition, as the functions and organizations of related departments in each ministry, such as the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, the Committee on Low Birth Rate and Aging Society, and the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, must be transferred, a large-scale reorganization must also be carried out.

Kim So-young, Donga.com reporter sykim41@donga.com

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