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Transboundary Water Management in the Yalu River Basin between North Korea and China: With a Focus on Hydropower Development
Journal of the American Water Resources Association  (IF3.202),  Pub Date : 2021-07-15, DOI: 10.1111/1752-1688.12944
Seungho Lee, Yookyung Lee

This study investigates shared benefits through the cooperation between North Korea and China over transboundary water management in the Yalu River Basin. Primary attention has been placed on joint hydropower development since the 1950s, which has brought in developmental benefits for North Korea and security benefits for China. Data on the study have been collected from relevant papers, government publications, and media reports of China and South Korea. The information on North Korea, particularly about hydropower dams, is only accessible through secondary sources collected from South Korean government thinktanks due to the lack of publicly available data. The case study method is deployed for exploring specific issues and context and addressing problems. The significance of the study lies in the fact that this study is one of the first studies to examine transboundary river cooperation for development and security benefits between the countries. An array of bilateral agreements over the river basin has culminated in co-building and jointly operating the four dams along the river. The construction of two additional dams, which is nearing completion, symbolizes shared benefits for both countries, hydroelectricity for North Korea, and regional security for China.