Seoul says rival North Korea will return two South Koreans who Pyongyang accused of illegally entering the country last month.

Officials at South Korea's Unification Ministry said the North informed them Monday that the South Koreans will cross back into the South later this week through the truce village of Panmunjom on the border.

Seoul said the two South Koreans, a 59-year-old man and a 51-year-old woman, went missing near the North Korea-China border while traveling in China. The ministry said it has been in contact with the relatives of the missing people.

North Korea has occasionally detained South Korean and American nationals on accusations of spying and illegal entry.

The Korean Peninsula remains officially at war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.