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SKorea: NKorea may soon release dam water to South

SKorea: NKorea may soon release dam water to South

North Korea notified South Korea on Sunday that it may soon release dam water into a river flowing to the South because of heavy rains, Seoul's Unification Ministry said. A similar incident last year killed six people.
In September, the North Korean dam discharged a large amount of water into the Imjin River without any warning, causing a deadly river surge in South Korea and the six deaths.
The incident strained ties between the Koreas, with some South Korean media speculating the dam release was possibly meant as an attack. The North, however, later said it had to release water because the water level at the dam was too high at the time and it would warn Seoul of similar dam releases in the future.
On Sunday, the North told the South through a military hot line that it may have to release dammed water southward after 8 p.m. (1100 GMT) Sunday if heavy rain continues, the Unification Ministry said in a statement.
The South Korean authorities are making necessary preparations to cope with the water discharge, it said.
The Land Ministry said it was confident it could deal with the release, citing a large-scale dam that South Korea constructed south of the border in June as part of anti-flooding efforts. The dam's construction was advanced by one year because of the September dam release.
"There won't be any problem. We can just store the released water in our dam," said Moon Kwang-hyuk, a Land Ministry official.
Torrential rain has pounded the Korean peninsula in recent days, but it wasn't immediately known exactly how much rain the North has received.
The North's notice came amid persistent tension in the wake of the March sinking of a South Korean warship blamed on Pyongyang.
An international investigation said in May that a North Korean submarine fired a torpedo that sank the warship Cheonan, killing 46 South Korean sailors. The North flatly denies that it launched an attack and has warned any punishment would trigger war.
The two Koreas are still technically at war because their conflict in the 1950s ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.


Updated : 2021-06-22 04:26 GMT+08:00