THE MINISTRY OF CONSTRUCTION and Transportation of South Korea has announced that it will proceed with the second phase of the construction of the Peace dam. According to senior ministry officials, field surveys have been conducted since May 2002 for the resumption of the project that was halted in May 1988.

The plan to recommence the work was revealed after recent reports claiming that North Korea could use its dams to flood the southern country. According to the plan, the second phase of the construction will begin in September 2002 and is expected to be completed in December 2004 with a budget of US$16.7M.

Once in place, the Peace dam will have a height of 125m, up from the current 80m, allowing sufficient capacity to mitigate flows from the Mt Kumgang dam in the North in the event of a collapse. Mt Kumgang dam was recently reported to be cracked but is said to be under repairs by the North Koreans. The dam was constructed in 1986 for the generation of 810MW of electricity at the Anbyon Youth power plant.