South Korea Requests Prior Notification Of Dam Releases

Water From North Korea Dam Swamps Crops

3 Jul 2022 by The Water Diplomat
SEOUL, South Korea

Amid heavy rains in North Korea, the country appears to have released water from Hwanggang dam near the border with South Korea.

On the 30th of June, a South Korean official from the unification ministry expressed regret that their northern neighbours had not issued prior warning of water releases from the dam.  The official stated that “it is presumed that North Korea has recently opened the floodgates of the Hwangang dam”. Nevertheless, the official stated, the waters of the Imjin River are currently stable and have not exceeded a depth of 3 metres.

On the 28th of June North Korean media had reported that intensive work was underway to protect crops, power stations, factory equipment and other assets from damage following heavy rains.

The government reported that efforts were concentrated in North Korea’s central and southern regions to cope with possible typhoon and flood damage. 

South Korea had requested North Korea to inform it in advance if it planned to release water in the border region. However, according to South Korean officials, North Korea had not acknowledged receipt of this request. The request had been submitted via a regular phone call via the inter-Korean joint liaison office.

An agreement was signed between the two countries in 2009 that North Korea would inform South Korea prior to any releases of water in the vicinity of the border between the two countries. This agreement was reached after an unannounced release of water from Hwanggang dam killed 6 South Koreans.