Updated: 07/29/2014 18:47 | By Agence France-Presse

N.Korea offers to return body of S.Korean man

North Korea offered Tuesday to return the body of a South Korean man found drifting north of the disputed Yellow Sea border, the South's unification ministry said.


N.Korea offers to return body of S.Korean man

A South Korean warship sails from the island of Yeonpyeong near the disputed waters of the Yellow Sea, on December 22, 2010 - by Kim Jae-Hwan

The offer came as cross-border military tensions run high following a series of North Korean missile, rocket and artillery tests that appeared to have inched ever closer to their joint border.

In a message sent through a border hotline, the North said the body of a 61-year-old man was picked up in its waters, along with a driver's licence and a social security card, according to the unification ministry.

The South accepted the North's offer to hand over the body on Wednesday, through the border truce village of Panmunjom, the ministry said.

The man from Ansan, south of Seoul, disappeared on June 24 after he went fishing on a boat, Yonhap news agency said.

It was not known how the man died or why his body had drifted to the North's waters.

The flashpoint maritime border on the Yellow Sea has been the  scene of several bloody naval clashes and the North's shelling of a border island in 2010 that left four South Koreans including two civilians dead.

But the two Koreas have made it a rule to repatriate the bodies of each other's citizens found in the sea after floods and heavy rain.

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