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Water Levels Rise In South As North Korea Opens Dam Floodgates Without Warning

Via NK News, a report on rising water levels in South Korea as the North opens dam floodgates without warning:

North Korea opened dam floodgates along the Imjin River near the inter-Korean border this week, according to Seoul’s unification ministry, raising the risk of further inundation in the South as monsoon rains lash the peninsula.

“North Korea appears to continue opening and closing the floodgates at Hwanggang Dam following heavy rain,” a ministry official told NK News on Tuesday, referring to the DPRK dam about 17 miles (27 km) from the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). “There was no notice from North Korea to the South regarding releasing water from that dam.”

The latest incident marks at least the second time during this year’s summer monsoon season that North Korea has opened the dam without warning, an action that risks flooding and loss of life downstream.

In 2009, six South Koreans died after North Korea released water from the same dam without notice. Pyongyang promised Seoul later that year that it would notify the South ahead of any future dam openings, but it has regularly failed to do so.

The ministry official said the latest dam activity was unlikely to cause any loss of life or damage in South Korea, but the Imjin River was at significantly high levels on Monday evening. Yeoncheon County, where the six South Koreans died in 2009, issued a warning the same day to residents and visitors to exercise caution near the river.

The North is also getting hit by heavy rains and flooding this week and likely opened the floodgates to mitigate water damage in its border regions.

A late-night Korean Central Television (KCTV) broadcast on Monday stated that Kangwon Province and the inter-Korean border town of Kaesong will likely see as much as 9 inches (232 mm) of rain through Tuesday.

Meanwhile, heavy rains led to the deaths of at least eight people in the Seoul metropolitan area on Monday after a record-high 15 inches (380 mm) of rain caused flash floods and landslides in the capital city.



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