Kang Kyung-Wha

South Korea is considering lifting some of its sanctions against North Korea as the relationship between the two countries improves.

The South Korean government is assessing the issue, Foreign Minister, Kang Kyung-Wha said before a parliamentary committee on Wednesday, according to the news agency Yonhap.

Loosening the sanctions would not, however, undermine the framework of international sanctions against North Korea, Kang said.

She did not mention a concrete time when sanctions may be lifted.

South Korea imposed a set of sanctions on North Korea in 2010 after one of its navy ships was sunk close to the Korean maritime border.

The South Korean government accused the North of firing a submarine torpedo at the vessel, which Pyongyang denies.

However, international and South Korean experts found that the weapon used to sink the ship was manufactured in North Korea.

The UN Security Council has imposed separate sanctions against Pyongyang for its nuclear weapon programme.

Over the past year, tensions between the two countries have begun to ease – a process which began with North Korean athletes being allowed to compete in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

In April, the two Korean leaders, President Moon Jae In and Kim Jong Un, met for a historic summit, during which they hailed “a new era of peace” and agreed to pursue a set of goals.

The agreement include a nuclear-free Korean peninsula and an official end to the Korean War.

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