SEOUL (Reuters) - 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 a.m. Sunday in the western sea, normalising 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.

(Reporting by Cynthia Kim)

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