South Korea remains committed to enforcing sanctions on North Korea to pressure the regime to give up its nuclear weapons program, Seoul's top diplomat said Thursday.

Speaking to the United Nations Security Council in New York, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said Seoul will also continue to improve relations with Pyongyang to ease tensions on the peninsula.

"We are committed to continuing to work with the international community to ensure that the council's sanctions are faithfully implemented, even as we continue to engage North Korea to facilitate substantial progress towards complete denuclearization," she said, referring to sanctions imposed last year for the North's testing of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

Her remarks come as South Korea's Moon Jae-in administration has been suspected by some of seeking to ease sanctions on North Korea in return for steps toward denuclearization.

South Korea is "furthering inter-Korean dialogue to solidify the momentum for reconciliation and better relations," the minister said. "This includes implementing the comprehensive military agreement signed in Pyongyang, which aims to eliminate the threat of war and prevent accidental clashes."

Kang was referring to an agreement signed during last week's third summit between Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, which helped restart denuclearization negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang.

"As long as we stay this course, I am confident that the weeks and months ahead will take us even closer to our shared goal of a realizing a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula that is permanently at peace," she said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency