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Unification Minister Expresses Regret Over N. Korea's Unilateral Release Of Dam Water

Reporter Rosyn Park ㅣ 2020-08-06 14:02

Unification Minister Lee In-young (L) discusses North Korea's abrupt release of water from the Hwangggang Dam during a meeting of the Inter-Korean Exchange and Cooperation Council in Seoul on August 6, 2020.
Unification Minister Lee In-young (L) discusses North Korea's abrupt release of water from the Hwangggang Dam during a meeting of the Inter-Korean Exchange and Cooperation Council in Seoul on August 6, 2020.
Unification Minister Lee In-young has expressed regret over North Korea's unilateral measure to release water from a border dam earlier this week.

During a meeting of the Inter-Korean Exchange and Cooperation Council on Thursday, Lee said, "North Korea might have had difficulties of their own due to heavy rainfall," but stressed "they should have at least notified us prior to the release."

He urged the North to notify the South in whatever way possible saying, "No matter how difficult the inter-Korean situation is politically and militarily, we need to restart dialogue immediately, at least on issues related to the humanitarian field or the safety of the residents living near the border."

On Monday, the North partially opened the floodgates of the Hwanggang Dam on the western inter-Korean border, sending water into the Imjin River.

The move put South Korean authorities on alert amid already high water levels brought on by days of heavy monsoon rains.

Under an inter-Korean agreement signed in October 2009, the North agreed to notify the South in advance of its plans to open the floodgates.

Seoul's defense military said it is closely monitoring related moves in the North while sharing information with related government agencies.

<Photo: Yonhap News>
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