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Speaker floats dual citizenship as solution to falling births

By Kim Arin

Published : May 6, 2024 - 16:31

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Kim Jin-pyo, the speaker of the National Assembly, holds a meeting with overseas Koreans in Los Angeles on Saturday, local time. (courtesy of the speaker’s office) Kim Jin-pyo, the speaker of the National Assembly, holds a meeting with overseas Koreans in Los Angeles on Saturday, local time. (courtesy of the speaker’s office)

Kim Jin-pyo, the speaker of South Korea’s National Assembly, told a meeting with overseas Koreans in Los Angeles that he would try to push laws to permit multiple citizenships, according to the speaker’s office.

“Allowing people to hold multiple citizenships has gained considerable consensus in the Assembly as well as the government,” he said during a meeting with members of organizations representing Koreans in the US at the Intercontinental Hotel in LA on Saturday.

He said that letting people have more than one citizenship could be a solution to Korea’s declining births, which is already the world’s lowest.

He said he was advocating for overseas Koreans to be eligible to apply for multiple citizenship once they reach the age of 40, the threshold for being exempt from compulsory military service.

“We’ll work to come up with bills that can reflect these realities,” he said.

The speaker’s remarks came in response to James An, the president of the Korean American Federation of Los Angeles, who asked for revising the citizenship laws to let overseas Koreans become multiple citizens.

Kim is on a trip from May 4 to 18 for the 10th meeting of MIKTA -- a group of five "middle-power" countries comprising Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey and Australia. He is also stopping by Brazil and Argentina.