A drought in North Korea may result in the Kaesong Industrial Complex being shut down, a South Korean lawmaker asserted on Wednesday.
Sim Jae-kwon of the New Politics Alliance for Democracy said that, according to data from the Ministry of Unification (MoU), there is a possibility that the operations of the complex being shut down due to North Korea’s water shortage.
Sim, a member of the National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee, said that from last December, the complex has been receiving 5,000 tons of water rather than the usual 9,000.
According to the data from the Kaesong weather station, precipitation in 2014 fell to its lowest point in decades. Based on the amount reportedly available, there may only be enough water for “about 20 days,” Sim said
Therefore, for emergency, the South Korean Ministry of Unification (MoU) is carrying out a plan to secure 30,000 tons of water from Sachon River next to the complex, he said. However, this has led to worries of damaging the ecosystem of the DMZ’s wetlands.
Sim suggested a detailed look into potential ecosystem damage, along with the potential for installing a rainwater utilization system. Water pipes running from South Korea should be also considered, he said.
However, the MoU said the situation is not as dire as Sim’s remarks suggest.
“It is true that there’s a lack of water in North Korea due to the extreme drought. Thus, we are saving water in the Kaesong Industrial Complex. However, this situation is not having an influence on the operations of the Kaesong Industrial Complex,” MoU spokesperson Jung Joon-hee said at the regular briefing.
Jung said that recent rain meant that the water supply was not facing an “emergency situation.”
Hence, Jung emphasized that the matter of ecological damage should be considered later should an emergency occur.
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