Russian authorities have reached a preliminary agreement with North Korea to revisit offshore exploration sites in the East and West Seas in a fresh bid to search for commercial hydrocarbon reserves.

The move follows Pyongyang's earlier pledge to help Moscow plug a shortage of ammunition for Russia's war in Ukraine.

Following the visit of Russian natural resources minister Alexander Kozlov to Pyongyang earlier this week, the ministry said in the statement that it will draft “a schedule of exploration works offshore as soon as the [North] Korean side will provide required geophysical maps”.