"In order to sanction the vessels, we need reasonable evidence that they were involved in the activities banned by the UN Security Council", Roh Suk-hwan, deputy commissioner of Korea Customs Service, said in a televised press conference.
But it accused unidentified high-level USA officials of "going against the intention of President Trump" by "making baseless allegations against us and making desperate attempts at intensifying the global sanctions and pressure".
Ri said Saturday that denuclearization by North Korea should happen "phase by phase", and statement from the foreign minister posted in the media room at the ASEAN forum criticized the United States for "raising its voice louder for maintaining the sanctions against (North Korea)".
Last month, North Korea accused the USA of using "gangster-like" tactics in the negotiations.
The statement seems meant to hit a target audience in the USA, being released in English by North Korea's mission to the United Nations in NY, rather than just through the state-run Korean Central News Agency, the usual avenue for government announcements.
North Korea has rejected all of these proposals, considering them "gangster-like", one of the sources said.
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But across the region, there have been signs that U.S. President Donald Trump's campaign for "maximum pressure" lost steam after Pyongyang sought to improve relations with Washington, Seoul and Beijing.
South Korea started to look into the allegations that North Korean coal may have entered its ports in October.
North Korea has in the past expressed anger over comments made by administration officials in the media, especially Bolton.
Kim and Trump promised to work to end North Korea's weapons programs at their summit in Singapore, but the two countries have been struggling to reach a detailed accord to meet that goal.
Amid a lack of progress on North Korea's denuclearization and recent reports of the country evading sanctions, the United States has stepped up calls for tighter enforcement of the sanctions.
North Korea has chafed at USA insistence that no sanctions be eased until Pyongyang's disarms its nuclear weapons. Their refusal to comply could explain the frustration expressed by USA officials in recent days.
According to Iranian media, Mr Ri said his country would seek to retain its nuclear skills for when the United States would revert to a more aggressive position against Pyongyang. The joint statement released after the event, however, was vague at best and provided no clear pathway for Kim to do so.
"The U.S. should, even at this belated time, respond to our honest efforts in a corresponding manner", the ministry said.