North Korea and South Korea reopen maritime communication channel

Unification flags flutter by the wind on the Grand Unification Bridge which leads to the Peace House near the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas in Paju, on April 25, 2018.
Unification flags flutter by the wind on the Grand Unification Bridge which leads to the Peace House near the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas in Paju, on April 25, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL (REUTERS) - North and South Korea reopened a maritime communication channel on Sunday (July 1), with vessels from the two countries making radio contact for the first time in a decade, South Korea's Defence Ministry said in a statement.

A North Korean patrol boat responded immediately when the South Korean Navy contacted it via an international radio channel at 9am on Sunday in the western sea, normalising the maritime communication channel for the first time in 10 years, according to the ministry.

The move showed that the two Koreas were "taking practical steps"to uphold agreements made on April 27 when their leaders decided to defuse military tensions in a gradual manner, an official from the ministry said.