중앙데일리

Dedication of Peace Dam comes after 19-year hiatus

Oct 18,2005

The Peace Dam, first mooted almost 19 years ago, is to be dedicated today. The dam was originally designed to hold back water from North Korea in the case of a possible “flood attack.” [JoongAng Ilbo]

Government officials said yesterday that a dedication ceremony for the completed Peace Dam, initiated by the Chun Doo Hwan military regime almost 19 years ago, will be held today.
The project dates back to 1986, when then-Construction Minister Lee Kyu-hyo said that if North Korea destroyed the Mount Kumgang Dam, 20 billion tons of water would submerge Seoul. To prevent this, construction of the Peace Dam in Hwacheon, Gangwon province began in February 1987, funded by 63 billion won ($60 million) collected from the frightened populace within six months.
The first phase of the dam ― 80 meters high with a 590 million ton water reservoir ― was completed in 1989.
However, skepticism over a possible “flood attack” started to rise. Critics accused the Chun regime of fabricating the threat as a political maneuver, which turned out to be true.
In 1993, the Board of Audit and Inspection under the Kim Young-sam government found that the flood threat was “absurdly bloated.”
Mount Kumgang Dam’s actual reservoir turned out to be 2.6 billion tons, less than one eighth of the Chun regime’s claim.
The board judged the threat as a political artifice of the Chun regime, to distract people’s attention from the democratization movement, and subsequent work on the dam ceased.
Then, in 2002, analysis of satellite photographs found the Mount Kumgang Dam was eroding and there were fears that it would rupture.
Changes in weather patterns had also brought more torrential rain to the region so work was resumed on the Peace Dam in September 2002.
The dam is the third largest in size and capacity in South Korea and the Korea Water Resources Corporation plans to make it a tourist attraction, by building a camping site and a promenade.


by Hoh Kui-seek


dictionary dictionary | 프린트 메일로보내기 내블로그에 저장