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Landmark first DPRK official port call to Busan

Landmark first DPRK official port call to Busan

Seoul: A cargo ship will this weekend make the first official call by a North Korean ship at South Korea's main port of Busan, the unification ministry here said Friday.

The 1,853-ton Kangsong with a crew of 27 is en route from the North's western port of Nampo. "The ship is expected to reach South Korean waters late Friday," a ministry spokesman told AFP.

The voyage was part of efforts to open a regular service involving South and North Korean cargo ships, but the two governments were yet to endorse the plan, he said.

North Korean ships have previously berthed at other South Korean ports but the Kangsong's trip will be the first official one to Busan.

The two Koreas have remained technically at war since the 1950-53 Korean War ended without a peace treaty, but economic exchanges have been growing in recent years.

On Thursday the two sides staged historic test runs on reconnected railway lines across their heavily fortified border.  [18/05/07]