South and North Korea on Friday launched their joint liaison office, thereby securing a platform for round-the-clock communication that is expected to ease tensions between the two nations.
The launch of the liaison office in North Korea's border town of Kaesong was attended by around 50 people each from the two Koreas, Yonhap News Agency reported.
This is a follow-up on the agreement that the leaders of South and North Korea arrived at in their April summit to run such an office on hopes that it will serve as a communication channel to help facilitate inter-Korean cooperation on various fronts.
"The inter-Korean joint liaison office is a channel for round-the-clock communication in the new era of peace. From today, South and North Korea can have direct consultations 24 hours a day and 365 days a year over issues relating to advances in inter-Korean relations, peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula," South Korea's Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said in a congratulatory speech.
South Korea will station around 20 officials there, while the North will deploy 15-20 officials.
Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung will serve as a co-head for the office along with Jon Chong-su, a vice chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country, a North Korean agency in charge of inter-Korean exchanges.
The co-heads are scheduled to meet every week.