Pyongyang has warned Mexico it will take "necessary measures" unless the Latin American country releases its vessel. The Mu Du Bong has been detained in Mexico since last July.
North Korea said on Wednesday that Mexico had "forcibly detained" its ship, the Mu Du Bong and warned that it would take all steps to ensure the vessel would be released immediately.
"The detention of the Mu Du Bong is a rampant violation of the dignified sovereignty of the DPRK," Pyongyang's deputy representative An Myong hun told reporters in New York. "We will take necessary steps to make the ship leave immediately," he added.
A crew of 50 North Koreans were being held in the ship and their families were "crying for their return," An said.
The Mu Du Bong ran over a coral reef near Mexico's Tuxpan port last month and was impounded after the ship was connected to the Ocean Maritime Management (OMM) firm, blacklisted by the UN Security Council after one the Chong Chong Gang was found transporting arms from Cuba in 2013
The North Korean embassy was then asked to pay a 770,000 dollar bond for damage assessment. Pyongyang representative An told journalists that his government had paid all the fees and that there was no "legal obligation" to wait to move.
However, Mexico's UN mission spokesman Ricardo Alday said that this was not an illegal action and that his officers were fulfilling international obligations under Security Council resolutions.
The UN's security agency has already imposed a series of sanctions on North Korea, which is believed to be boosting its nuclear and missile programs, potentially threatening its neighbor and US ally South Korea.
Despite its investment in nuclear stockpile, around 70 percent of the country's 22 million people live in poverty and are facing a severe food crisis according to the UN, which has launched an international appeal for aid.
mg/rc (AFP, dpa)