DANDONG/SEOUL, Sept. 26 (Yonhap) -- A freight train from the Chinese border city of Dandong was seen crossing a railway bridge into North Korea on Monday, marking the resumption of such a cargo service operation between the two countries after a five-month halt.
The train with more than 10 cars was spotted crossing the bridge over the Amnok River toward the North's border city of Sinuiju at 7:43 a.m.
Cross-border rail operation between the two countries had been suspended since April 29, following a lockdown in Dandong attributable to the spread of COVID-19. The North also reported a coronavirus outbreak in May and had implemented "maximum emergency anti-epidemic" measures.
A source in China said cargo rail service between the neighbors has normalized with the stabilization of the COVID-19 situation, adding it is to operate one to two times a day.
Last month, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un declared victory in the country's battle against the virus, and Pyongyang announced a shift to the easing of some curbs.
In Seoul, the unification ministry, tasked with handling inter-Korean affairs, also said the two sides appear to have resumed a cargo rail service.
"Although the North and China have not made any formal confirmation, it appears that cross-border cargo train operation between the two sides has resumed today, considering various circumstances," Cho Joong-hoon, the ministry's spokesperson, said in a press briefing when asked about the issue.
It remains to be seen whether the train service will continue down the road and which goods will be transported.