South Korea has stepped up disinfection of citizens returning from North Korea after an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in pigs in the communist state.

Workers in the Kaesong industrial complex jointly run with North Korea, as well as people crossing the border for reunions with family members will be subject to more rigorous disinfection processes than usual, South Korea's agriculture ministry said on Thursday, without giving more detail.

Pyongyang this month reported an outbreak of the highly infectious disease to the World Organisation for Animal Health.

South Korea, which does not import any meat from its neighbour, was forced to cull 10 percent of its cattle and hogs in 2010-2011 after an outbreak of foot-and-mouth that cost billions of dollars to contain.

Foot-and-mouth usually affects cloven-hoofed animals such as sheep, goats, cattle and pigs. It rarely infects humans. (Reporting by Meeyoung Cho; Editing by Joseph Radford)