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Republic of Korea

International water issues

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has built several dams on the Imjin river, a major waterway, including one a few kilometres north of the heavily armed border between the two states that have yet to sign a formal peace treaty to end the 1950-1953 Korean War. The river starts in the north and ends in the south to the northwest of Seoul. In 2009, the Republic of Korea made a complait to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea about a sudden release of water into the Imjin river flowing across their border that left six people missing in the south. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has failed to notify the Republic of Korea ahead of releasing water on several previous occasions, resulting in flood damage in the south (Reuters, 2009). So far, there is no cooperation between the two countries on flood control and the establishment of warning systems.

In 2005, the Republic of Korea constructed the Peace dam on the Bukhan river, the only dam in the world constructed with no reservoir. The aim of the dam is to prevent flooding coming from the Imnam dam in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.


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