Korean water discharge ‘unavoidable’

South Korea appears to have accepted its northern neighbour's explanation that a sudden and unplanned release of water from a dam, which claimed several lives, was unavoidable.

Earlier this month, as reported by edie, around 40 million tonnes of water were suddenly released from a dam in North Korea, causing floods and killing six campers downstream south of the border.

South Korea had issued a sternly-worded statement demanding an apology for the lack of forewarning and effectively likening the incident to an attack.

North Korea said it had been forced to release the water as reservoir levels had reached a critically high point and were in danger of causing flooding.

Since the incident, US satellite images appear to confirm the North’s story, showing high levels of water behind the dam prior to the release.

North Korea has yet to offer a detailed explanation of why no warning was issued, however, and anti-government, pro-democracy internet publications aimed at North Koreans argue that the satellite images were unclear and do not provide adequate confirmation.

Sam Bond

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