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S. Korea downplays dam discharge notice

  |   July 19, 2010 at 10:24 AM
SEOUL, July 19 (UPI) -- South Korea Monday dismissed suggestions that North Korea's notification of a dam discharge along the countries' border could be a goodwill gesture.

North Korea informed South Korea of its plans to discharge 1,000 tons of water per second from one of its border dams, making good on its pledge to do so, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported Monday. The notification procedure came about after a sudden discharge in September triggered a flash flood, killing six South Koreans camping near the border.

"The government believes it is not appropriate to over-interpret it in many ways under the current inter-Korean circumstances," South Korean Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung said Monday during a briefing.

The official said his government looked at the North Korean notification of the dam discharge plan "as it is."

Water levels of major rivers have risen during the past few days because of the torrential rains that have pounded the Korean Peninsula, now in the midst of its summer rainy season.

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