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North Korea 'regrets' dam deaths

Official from North and South Korea met this week to discuss water management following a recent release of dam water by North Korea which sparked flooding downstream resulting in the deaths of six South Koreans.

The two sides will discuss how to prevent such incidents on their border, officials said.

The release of dam water into the Imjin River last month without advance notice triggered floods that swept away six South Koreans who were camping and fishing. South Korea demanded an apology, but North Korea said at the time only that it “urgently” had to release the water because the dam’s level was too high. It said it would warn Seoul of similar releases in the future.

At 80-minute talks this week suggested by South Korea and convened in the North Korean border town of Kaesong, the North expressed its regret, according to the South’s unification ministry spokesman Lee Jong-joo said. The North also explained it had to discharge the waters to avoid a bigger catastrophe.

Lee said the North Korean chief delegate told South Korean officials “it was regrettable that unintended human casualties occurred”.

The North also offered condolences to the bereaved South Korean families, said Lee.

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