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Koreans evacuate due to suspected discharge of North Korean dam

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Seoul — North Korea appears to have released water from a dam near its border with South Korea, urging neighboring country vacationers to overcome the rising water levels of the Imjin River and evacuate, officials said Tuesday. rice field.

Government data showed that the water level of the river bridge in the southern border county of the Ren River exceeded 1 meter on Monday afternoon, and riverbank visitors needed to evacuate.

"North Korea seems to have released water from the Hwanggang Dam," an official from the South Korean Ministry of Unification, which deals with the Global North and Global South, told Reuters.

Yeoncheon-gun said it sent a warning message to nearby residents, warning them to move to a safe place.

It was not immediately clear how many people had to leave after the suspicious release of water.

"After hovering over 1.6 meters, the water level is now dropping," said a Yeoncheon-gun official.

North Korea is stepping up efforts to prevent flood damage caused by recent heavy rains.

South Korea repeatedly urged North Korea to notify North Korea before releasing water from the dam as the river flows through the Yeoncheon, but Pyongyang remained unresponsive.

As a result of the release of water from the dam in 2009, a flood occurred downstream, killing six Koreans. (Report by Soo-hyang Choi, edited by Gerry Doyle)