The vessels are said to be the Petrel 8, Hao Fan 6, Tong San 2 and Jie Shun, that were found transporting 'prohibited goods' to and from North Korea, according to Hugh Griffiths, coordinator of a UN panel on North Korean sanctions, as quoted by BBC.

The two bulk carriers, Petrel 8 and Hao Fan 6 are flagged in Comoros and St Kitts Nevis respectively, while the two other general cargo ships are registered in Cambodia and DPR Korea.

Mr Griffiths characterized the move as 'unprecedented', as the Council has prohibited the ship entry to all ports of the world. 

The UN sanctions were imposed in August and expanded in September, in response to the country's sixth and largest nuclear test and firing of two missiles over Japan. The ships ban was announced after a UN meeting on Monday.