South and North Korea have opened a much-awaited joint liaison office on Friday ahead of the inter-Korean summit set for next week. 

South Korea's Unification Ministry said the opening ceremony was held at 10:30 a.m. at the inter-Korean Gaeseong Industrial Complex in North Korea. 

South Korea sent 54 officials from the government, parliament and academia to the ceremony, including Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon. Some business people who operated firms at the industrial park were also invited.

The liaison office began operations right after the opening ceremony. South Korea's Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung, the co-head of the office, will hold the inaugural meeting on Friday with North Korean officials. 

The ministry said about 15 to 20 South Korean officials will stay at the office from Monday through Friday, and after-hours personnel will be on standby.

[Photo : YONHAP News]