South Korea contacted North Korea on Friday via the recently reopened border hotline to repatriate the bodies of four people presumed to be North Koreans and found in a boat adrift in the East Sea.
On Jan. 7, a South Korean fishing vessel found the capsized wooden ship in waters near Ulleung Island, 120 kilometers off the eastern coast, according to Seoul's unification ministry.
The ministry said that it sent a document in the name of the Red Cross chief to notify the North of its plan to send them back.
"Seoul will consult with the North over how and when to get them back home," a government official said.
The government used the communication channel at the truce village of Panmunjom, which North Korea restored last week after a suspension of two years.
As the hotline was disconnected, the South previously asked the United Nations Command to contact the North when rescued North Korean fishermen wished to go home or bodies of North Koreans were found in the sea. (Yonhap)