N. Korea has likely suffered significant flood damage from torrential rains, Unification Ministry says

Posted on : 2020-08-11 15:34 KST Modified on : 2020-08-11 17:03 KST
Ministry spokesperson emphasizes inter-Korean cooperation to deliver humanitarian aid
<b>Water is released from the floodgates of Gunnam Dam in Yeoncheon County, Gyeonggi Province, on Aug. 6. (Yonhap News)<br><br></b>
Water is released from the floodgates of Gunnam Dam in Yeoncheon County, Gyeonggi Province, on Aug. 6. (Yonhap News)

North Korea appears to have suffered significant damage from recent torrential rains, the South Korean Ministry of Unification (MOU) announced on Aug. 10.

Speaking at a regular press conference that day, MOU Spokesperson Yoh Sang-key said, “If we compare it with 2007, which represented the worst flood damage [in North Korea] to date, 2007 saw 500 to 700mm of rain falling over a seven-day period, while the level this August appears to have been higher than that.” In 2007, an inter-Korean summit that the two sides had agreed to hold in August was postponed two months to October due to flood damage when the Taedong River in Pyongyang overflowed in August.

Yoh also noted, “According to North Korean broadcasting on Aug. 6, 854mm of rain fell in Pyonggang County, Kangwon Province, between Aug. 1 and 6, which is close to North Korea’s average annual rainfall of 960mm.”

“In the case of the Kaesong region, the average rainfall for August is 257.7mm, but 423.9 mm fell between Aug. 1 and 6 [alone],” he added.

“There is flood damage throughout North Korea, and the country is likely experiencing several difficulties as a result,” he suggested.

Yoh also raised the possibility of humanitarian aid. “While we have not been able to ascertain the actual extent of the damage, the administration adheres to the basic position that cooperation in humanitarian aid must be pursued consistently regardless of the political or military situation.”

“As a rule, our position is to consider and implement [humanitarian aid to North Korea] in multiple ways when the conditions are met,” he added.

In a front-page story published the same day, the Rodong Sinmun newspaper reported that the Korean People’s Army had been deployed to the scene of flood damage in the village of Taechong, Unpa County, North Hwanghae Province, following orders from leader Kim Jong-un for swift support and reconstruction, and were working to restore damaged embankments and roads and minimize crop damage.

By Lee Je-hun, senior staff writer

Please direct comments or questions to [english@hani.co.kr]

button that move to original korean article (클릭시 원문으로 이동하는 버튼)

Related stories

Most viewed articles