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11 October 2017, 12:24 | Darnell Patrick
UN Security Council led by the United States recently impose multiple sanctions on Pyongyang for missile testing
"But it's a port ban", said Hugh Griffiths, a U.N. Security Council coordinator, adding the ships were found "transporting prohibited goods".
According to an unnamed source, the four ships were found carrying coal, seafood and iron ore.
The United States led a drive at the Security Council to impose two recent sets of sanctions to punish Pyongyang over its nuclear and missile tests.
He said the ban, which went into effect on 5 October, did not entail asset freezes or travel bans.
The sanctions include a ban on the sale of natural gas liquids to North Korea and limitations to the sale of crude oil and refined petrol products. According to MarineTraffic, a maritime database that monitors vessels and their moments, Petrel 8 is registered in Comoros, Hao Fan 6 in St. Kitts and Nevis, and Tong San 2 in North Korea.
Diplomats from north korea have attended without taking the floor at the meeting of the united nations, the second of its kind organized on the application of the sanctions regime imposed on Pyongyang, according to diplomatic sources.
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The UN expanded sanctions last month after the sixth and largest nuclear test made by North Korea. Estimates say that North Korea exports about $3bn worth of goods each year - and the sanctions could eliminate $1bn of that trade.
The Japan Times reported that United Nations diplomats confirmed that a North Korean envoy was present at the meeting but did not participate.
Of the four ships, Tong San 2 is the only one flagged to North Korea, according to Vessel Finder, a tracking system that provides information on ships' locations. The registered country of Jie Shun is not listed.
"Sanctions are not the final objective".
"Sanctions are not a goal in itself", they aim to bring North Korea to a negotiating table to talk about its weapons programmes that are deemed threatening to the world stability, stressed the diplomat at the end of the meeting. "Just a means. But of course, to be effective, sanctions must be applied by everybody".
Pyongyang on September 3 detonated a hydrogen bomb capable of being carried by an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the sixth nuclear test it has undertaken, running counter to relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the goal of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.
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