South Korea's Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon, left, and Chairman of the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification Ri Son Gwon, right, sign during an opening ceremony for two Koreas' first liaison office in Kaesong, North Korea. Picture: Korea Pool/Yonhap via AP
South Korea's Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon, left, and Chairman of the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification Ri Son Gwon, right, sign during an opening ceremony for two Koreas' first liaison office in Kaesong, North Korea. Picture: Korea Pool/Yonhap via AP
South Korea's Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon, centre left, and Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification, centre right, attend at an opening ceremony for two Koreas' first liaison office in Kaesong, North Korea. Picture: Korea Pool/Yonhap via AP
South Korea's Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon, centre left, and Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification, centre right, attend at an opening ceremony for two Koreas' first liaison office in Kaesong, North Korea. Picture: Korea Pool/Yonhap via AP
Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification, speaks during an opening ceremony for two Koreas' first liaison office in Kaesong, North Korea. Picture: Korea Pool/Yonhap via AP
Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification, speaks during an opening ceremony for two Koreas' first liaison office in Kaesong, North Korea. Picture: Korea Pool/Yonhap via AP
The rival Koreas have opened their first liaison office near their tense border to facilitate better communication and exchanges. Picture: South Korea Unification Ministry/Newsis via AP
The rival Koreas have opened their first liaison office near their tense border to facilitate better communication and exchanges. Picture: South Korea Unification Ministry/Newsis via AP

Seoul - North and South Korea opened a liaison office near their border on Friday, local media reported, a move Seoul hopes will lead to permanent communication between the rival countries.

The office was launched in the North Korean border town of Kaesong, with around 50 people from each country attending the opening ceremony, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.

Up to 20 officials from each side will be stationed at the office, which is also intended to encourage civilian contact.

The opening comes days ahead of the third meeting this year between South Korean President Moon Jae In and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, due to start on Tuesday.

The office is part of the agreement reached between the two leaders at a meeting in April.

The liaison office had originally been expected to open last month, but according to South Korean media reports, the date was pushed back due to worries in Washington that the reinstatement of ties between Pyongyang and Seoul was moving faster than talks on denuclearization.

The US is also concerned that Moscow is pressing hard for sanctions against Pyongyang to be lifted.

The United States' ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, expressed disappointment on Thursday over changes to an independent report on the sanctions, downplaying alleged violations by North Korea that also involved Russian firms.

The United Nation's most important body, the Security Council, is set to tackle the issue of sanctions against North Korea in an emergency meeting on Monday, a US spokesman told Russia's TASS news agency.