Nampo Dam

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Nampo Dam
Namp'o 125.39169E 38.73185N.jpg
Satellite photograph showing the West Sea Barrage. The Taedong River flows from right to left and the city of Nampho is on the north bank of the river in the center of the image. The West Sea Barrage is to the left, at the mouth of the river.
Korean name
Chosŏn'gŭl 서해갑문
Hancha 西
Revised Romanization Seohae Gapmun
McCune–Reischauer Sŏhae Kapmun
Film screening about the construction of the dam and the locks, in Nampo Dam visitor center

The Nampho Dam or West Sea Dam, also known as the West Sea Barrage, is a barrage located 15 km west of the special city of Nampho, North Korea. It is a huge, eight-kilometer-long system of dams, three lock chambers, and 36 sluices, allowing the passage of ships up to 50,000 tons. The dam closes the Taedong River off from the Yellow Sea. It was built from 1981 to 1986, with the resources of the whole country directed to this main construction project. The stated goal of the West Sea Dam was:

  • The raising of the water level in the Taedong River and increased ship traffic;[citation needed]
  • The prevention of seawater intrusion into the fresh water, thus solving the water supply problem;[citation needed]
  • The irrigation of additional land, enlarging the arable territory of the region.[1]

Foreign critics[who?] claim raising the Taedong river level has led to the loss of valuable farmland, contributing to North Korean famine.

The dam is considered a major accomplishment of North Korea,[2] and is a commonly seen backdrop for North Korean television news broadcasts from Korean Central News Agency. It is also a typical stop for tour groups of international tourists, for whom there is a visitor center on P'i Do island. There, films are shown in different languages about the construction of the dam and the locks.

The locks are at geographical coordinates 38°41′N 125°10′E / 38.683°N 125.167°E / 38.683; 125.167.

The dam's estimated total cost was $4 billion (US).[3]

Interactive Virtual Tour of Nampo Dam

Panorama of Nampo Dam
Panorama of Nampo Dam taken from the roof of the visitor center, looking inland along Taedong River. The start of the approximately 7 km long barrage can be seen to the left, the wide mouth of the Taedong River in the center, the locks towards the right, and the Yellow Sea on the far right of the picture.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Democratic People´s Republic of Korea - Geography, climate and population, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2010, Retrieved 2011-05-03
  2. ^ North Korea, Travel the Whole World, Retrieved 2011-05-03
  3. ^ Oh, Kong Dan & Ralph C. Hassig. North Korea Through the Looking Glass, Brookings Institution Press, 2000, p53