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Summary of domestic news in North Korea this week

All News 16:00 August 07, 2020

SEOUL, Aug. 7 (Yonhap) -- The following is a summary of domestic news in North Korea this week.

N. Korea releases border dam water without prior notice: sources

SEOUL, Aug. 3 (Yonhap) -- North Korea on Monday discharged water from a border dam without notifying South Korea in advance, ahead of possible torrential downpours in the communist state, government sources said.

The North partially opened the floodgates of Hwanggang Dam on the western inter-Korean border and sent water into the Imjin River, a move that put authorities here on alert against the potential rise in water levels in the South.

The water discharge came as the North's official Korean Central News Agency reported that "special" heavy rain warnings had been issued for Pyongan, Hwanghae and Jagang Provinces, Kaesong and other parts of the country.

N. Korea's No. 3 leader visits major port to check on antivirus measures

SEOUL, Aug. 4 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's No. 3 leader visited a major port in the western city of Nampho to inspect antivirus efforts, state media reported Tuesday, after leader Kim Jong-un declared a state of emergency following the return of a defector from South Korea.

In late July, North Korea declared a "maximum emergency system" against the coronavirus after it claimed a defector returned home from the South with symptoms. It has since intensified antivirus efforts, putting the border town of Kaesong in a complete lockdown and tightening its national borders.

Pak Pong-ju, vice chairman of the State Affairs Commission, visited Nampho city and inspected "anti-epidemic work," the Korean Central News Agency said Tuesday.

Major river passing through Pyongyang at risk of flooding

SEOUL, Aug. 5 (Yonhap) -- A major river running through North Korea's capital of Pyongyang is at risk of flooding as heavy rainfall continues to pound the country, according to state media on Wednesday.

North Korea is expecting to see an average of 150 to 300 millimeters of rainfall around the Taedong River from Wednesday to Thursday, and the water level of the river is expected to exceed the warning level around Thursday evening, the North's weather agency was quoted by state media as saying.

On Tuesday, flood alerts were issued near the Taedong River, the Chongchon River and the Ryesong River for Thursday and Friday. All the three rivers empty into the Yellow Sea, with the Taedong running through the capital city of Pyongyang.

N.K. leader presides over party meeting, orders special aid for Kaesong

SEOUL, Aug. 6 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un convened an executive policy council meeting of the Worker's Party and ordered special aid to the city of Kaesong under lockdown over coronavirus concerns, state media reported Thursday.

Last week, North Korea declared a state of emergency and said that it has put Kaesong on lockdown, claiming that a "runaway" defector suspected of COVID-19 infection recently came back from the South.

"Then the meeting heard a report on the anti-epidemic work and the situation in Kaesong City that is completely locked down under the state's maximum emergency system, discussed and decided on the Party Central Committee's special supply of food and funds to the city to stabilize the living of its citizens, and instructed relevant field to take immediate measures in this regard," the Korean Central News Agency said.

N.K. leader inspects flood damage in North Hwanghae Province

SEOUL, Aug. 7 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visited a flood-damaged village in North Hwanghae Province after heavy rains left more than 900 homes inundated or destroyed there, state media said Friday.

After visiting the site, Kim ordered officials to send his special stock of grain to people suffering from the flood and facilitate the use of necessary supplies such as cement in rebuilding the damaged sites, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

Nearly 730 homes and 600 hectares of rice fields have been flooded and 179 homes destroyed as heavy rainfall pounded the country for days, but no casualties were reported, it added.

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