United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed sympathy on Monday to North Korea's people after the death of leader Kim Jong-il and said the world body would go on helping them.

The U.N. chief, who is South Korean, extends his sympathy to the people of (North Korea) at this time of their national mourning, said a statement read to reporters by U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq.

Ban reaffirms his commitment to peace and security on the Korean peninsula, Haq said. The United Nations system will continue to help the people of North Korea. The Secretary-General is closely following the situation.

The U.N. humanitarian arm has raised funds to combat hunger in North Korea, and the U.N. Development Program has a small presence in the isolated state.

(Reporting by Patrick Worsnip; editing by Anthony Boadle)