The US has identified 10 ships it says are violating international sanctions on North Korea. Earlier, the US and Canada said they would host a meeting of foreign ministers in January to show solidarity against Pyongyang.
The US has called for the United Nations to blacklist 10 ships for allegedly circumventing sanctions on North Korea, according to documents released on Tuesday.
The targeted vessels include:
— oil tanker Lighthouse Winmore and cargo ship Kai Xiang from Hong Kong
— oil tanker Billions No. 18 from Palau
— cargo carrier Xin Sheng Hai from Belize
— cargo vessels, Ul Ji Bong 6 and Rung Ra 2 from North Korea
— oil tankers Sam Jong 2 and Rye Song Gang 1 from North Korea
— tugboat Yu Yuan from Togo
— cargo ship Glory Hope 1 (also known as Orient Shenyu) from Panama
The vessels have been accused of conducting ship-to-ship transfers of refined petroleum products to North Korean vessels, or transporting North Korean coal in violation of UN sanctions.
If the proposal is adopted, the ships would be banned from entering UN member ports. The 15 members of the UN Security Council's North Korea sanctions committee have until Thursday afternoon to object.
The Council already blacklisted four vessels in October for transporting North Korean coal, seafood and iron ore in contravention of sanctions.
The UN has banned North Korea from exporting coal, iron, lead, textiles and seafood and has restricted joint ventures and blacklisted a number of North Korean companies in response to Pyongyang's missile and nuclear tests. It has also capped oil deliveries to the country.
The UN hopes to choke off revenue to Pyongyang's military programs to pressure leader Kim Jong Un into negotiations.
Earlier Tuesday, Canada and the US announced they would co-host a meeting of foreign ministers in Vancouver on January 16 to demonstrate international solidarity against Pyongyang's nuclear and missile tests.
Tillerson calls out China and Russia over North Korea
"We can't talk unless North Korea is ready to talk," US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters after meeting with Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.
"What's important for North Korea to know is that this pressure campaign will not abate, we will not be rolling any of it back, it will only be intensified as time goes by, and it will remain in place until they agree to give up their nuclear weapons and allow us to verify that that is in fact what they have done," he said.
Freeland said the world had to demonstrate to North Korea that it was united in condemning Pyongyang's actions.
"The international pressure campaign — we believe it's going to be successful, and a successful outcome of the international pressure campaign is a diplomatic engagement," Freeland said.