North and South Korea have reopened a bilateral naval communication channel, with vessels from the two countries now making radio contact for the first time in over a decade.
South Korea’s Defense Ministry made the announcement in a statement on Sunday, saying that a North Korean patrol boat responded immediately when the South Korean navy contacted it via an international radio channel.
The move indicated that the two Koreas were “taking practical steps” to uphold agreements reached in an April meeting between their leaders to defuse military tensions in a gradual manner, according to an official from the ministry.
Maritime radio communications between North and South Korea was shut down in May 2008.
Last week, officials from the two Koreas also met to discuss connecting the railways that run useless across their border amid a rapprochement on the long-divided Korean Peninsula.
North and South Korean officials discuss connecting the railways that run across their border amid a rapprochement on the peninsula.
Millions of people were displaced and many families permanently separated after the 1950-53 Korean War, which divided the peninsula.
However, tensions have significantly eased since January this year, when North Korean leader Kim Jong-un expressed interest in the betterment of relations with South Korea. Vigorous diplomacy soon followed, and Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in then met in a historic summit.
Later, the US, too, engaged in diplomacy with Pyongyang, which culminated in a summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump in Singapore on June 12.
The two Koreas have, however, advanced their relations far more swiftly than Washington and Pyongyang. The US continues to maintain harsh sanctions on the North.