The US has called on the United Nations Security Council to blacklist 10 ships that it says transported banned items from North Korea, according to Reuters.
If the request is approved by the Security Council’s North Korea sanctions committee then by Thursday the blacklist could be in force.
A blacklist would entail countries banning the vessels from entering their ports.
The 10 named ships are accused of conducting illegal ship-to-ship transfers of refined petroleum products to North Korean ships or of transporting coal from the North to other countries.
The ban was instituted in order to squeeze sources of funding for the pariah state’s nuclear and missile programs.
Tensions have been mounting between the US and North Korea since Donald Trump became US President. He and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un have exchanged personal insults and threats against a backdrop of escalating missile tests conducted by Pyongyang.