The United Nations (UN) Security Council has approved a plan to conduct a joint field survey aiming to restore railway connectivity between North and South Korea.

The approval will exempt the railway survey works from international sanctions imposed over North Korea.

The country is subjected to extensive sanctions by the UN due to its nuclear armament and ballistic missile building programme.

The exemption follows the South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s announcement in August to develop railroad links with North Korea.

"Both leaders agreed to establish railway connectivity between the two countries, which has been suspended since the 1950-53 Korean War."

South Korea’s presidential spokesperson Kim Eui-kyeom told Reuters: “The sanctions exemption has big implications given that the project has garnered recognition and support from the United States and the international society.”

This year, President Jae-in met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un three times to boost bilateral ties. During the meetings, both leaders agreed to establish railway connectivity between the two countries, which has been suspended since the 1950-53 Korean War.

Last month, the two countries agreed to conduct joint field studies on transport, which was expected to begin this month or early December.

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Plans were delayed over differences between the US and North Korea on the denuclearisation of Korean peninsula.

The rail link will enable South Korea to promote its exports to China, Russia and Central Europe through North Korea. It will also support the development of the North Korean industries.