North-South Sunshine

Unification Minister: N. Korea Intentionally Caused Fatal Flood

Unification Minister Hyun In-taek told parliament that the government believes the North deliberately discharged some 40 million tons of water from its Hwanggang Dam north of the demilitarized zone on Sunday. [Yonhap]

Well, who really knows? What I would say is the North Koreans aren’t the sort to let concern for the welfare of their own people or anyone else get in the way of sending a political message. For them, killing a few kids could easily be just another sacrifice for the cause, and it does add some plausibility to a denial.

Somewhat laughably, Seoul is now threatening legal action for violations of “customary international law.” I’m not sure what court would hear the case, but I can suggest one way to enforce a judgment. Those Kaesong “wages” are paid through the Woori Bank accounts of the North Korean-controlled Kaesong Industrial District Management Committee. This might not be a completely empty threat, given that North Korea sounds rather desperate to get that income stream flowing again.

The full Yonhap article is archived here. More here, at the Daily NK, which notes that (a) rainfall in the area has been low, and (b) the National Defense Commission would have been consulted before the release.