Aug. 8 (UPI) -- A group of South Korean officials visited the Mount Kumgang region to assist the North Koreans with pest control at a once favored tourist destination.
Lim Sang-seop, forest industry policy director at the Korea Forest Service, headed the 12-person delegation that included members of the unification ministry and South Korea's forestry academy, News 1 reported Wednesday.
Local television network SBS reported the delegation crossed the military demarcation line at 8:39 a.m. and used a land route along the eastern coast to reach Mount Kumgang.
The delegation stayed in the North for eight hours, making site visits and discussing plans for joint pest control. They returned safely to the South at 5:30 p.m., according to reports.
The South Koreans met with the North's delegation, which included a deputy chief at North Korea's forest service, identified as Jang Yong Chol.
The purpose of the visit was to identify the correct pesticides and equipment needed for joint efforts.
Seoul's unification ministry later said, "views were exchanged" on pest control and on the "modernization" of a North Korean tree nursery.
The South Korean visit to the North was approved July 30 by Pyongyang.
In 2015, both Koreas spent about $90,000 to fight forest pests, according to Yonhap.