North and South Korea reopened a maritime communication channel on Sunday, 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 9 am Sunday in the western sea, normalizing the maritime communication channel for the first time in 10 years, according to the ministry.
The move showed 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.
It was also on Sunday reported that Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, has appealed to China's Xi Jinping to help end sanctions against Pyongyang following his landmark summit with US President Donald Trump.
Kim made the request during his third meeting with Mr Xi in Beijing last month, and the Chinese president promised to do his "utmost" to satisfy it, the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper said.
"We are feeling great pain due to economic sanctions. Now that we have concluded the US-North Korea summit in success, I want (China) to work toward early lifting of the sanctions," Kim reportedly told Mr Xi, according to the newspaper.
Kim chose Beijing - his main economic patron and diplomatic protector - for his first official foreign trip in March and met Mr Xi again in May in the northeastern port city of Dalian.
Timeline of Kim Jong-un in Beijing
In recent months the Cold War-era allies have sought to repair ties strained by Pyongyang's nuclear tests and Beijing's support of subsequent UN sanctions.
Kim asked Mr Xi to help ease the sanctions that have crippled North Korea's economy, and urged China to back Pyongyang in its denuclearisation talks with Washington, the report said.
Mr Xi in turn told Kim he "actively supports North Korea's reform and opening-up and will proactively cooperate with issues associated with the efforts", according to the Yomiuri.
He also urged North Korea to "continue (its) consultations with China" as it negotiates with the United States, the report said.