South Korea Fears Flooding From North Discharging Dam Water

  • Govt monitoring water level of North Korea dam near border
  • 6 South Koreans killed in 2009 after North opened floodgates

South Korea’s defense ministry says it is closely monitoring the water level at a North Korean dam near the border as heavy rainfall in the peninsula is raising fears that Pyongyang could discharge water and cause flooding in the South.

Defense Ministry spokesman Moon Sang Gyun said in a briefing Tuesday that the water level in the Hwanggang Dam just north of the border was near capacity. While it doesn’t believe North Korea would engage in a “flooding attack,” the ministry has previously said the military would be ready to provide emergency assistance if North Korea suddenly opened the floodgates.

North Korea discharged water from the dam without warning in 2009, killing six South Koreans camping downstream. Shortly after the incident, North Korea agreed to alert its counterparts whenever it would release water from the dam. In May, however, North Korea twice discharged water from the dam without warning, according to Yonhap news. No one was harmed in the two incidents.

South Korea’s weather agency issued a warning Tuesday to watch for mudslides and evacuate dangerous areas as heavy rains flooded roads and overflowed rivers and canals in and around Seoul.

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