A request from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to the United Nations (UN) to allow sports equipment to be exported into North Korea as part of the country's preparations for upcoming Olympic Games has reportedly been blocked by the United States.
In a statement, the IOC confirmed it had asked the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee to remove sporting goods from the list of banned exports to North Korea.
The IOC said the request for "further exemption" focused solely on "equipment for a very limited number of athletes so that they can prepare to qualify and participate in upcoming Olympic Games".
Citing an unnamed UN diplomatic source, Russian state news agency TASS has reported that the US was the only country to object to the motion, however.
A reason for the supposed block has not been revealed but the reports come amid continued tensions between Russia and the US following a meeting between Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump.
Tensions between the US and North Korea have eased slightly since a summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in June but relations remain strained.
According to the IOC, the request is currently being deliberated by the Security Council Sanctions Committee, established in 2006 in response to North Korea's first nuclear test.
The IOC claim they have had "no information" on whether the Committee had taken a decision.
IOC President Thomas Bach said the organisation were hopeful of a positive outcome and thanked the UN for granting a similar request prior to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang in February.
Both North and South Korea marched jointly at the Opening Ceremony of the Games while a joint women's ice hockey team was formed.
"We hope there can be a positive result in the interest of these athletes, and that such a move can also facilitate the IOC to continue to contribute to the thawing of tensions on the Korean peninsula through sport, as we have succeeded in doing during the Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018 with the joint march," said Bach.
"We are grateful to the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee that they granted an exemption for the equipment having been provided by the IOC to North Korean athletes during the Games and would hope that this can be extended."
The request from the IOC comes as the organisation continues to attempt to facilitate North Korean participation at the Olympics.
A special programme to allow North Korean athletes to prepare and to qualify for Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 is currently being worked on by the IOC.
In March, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un reportedly committed to his country participating at Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 during a meeting with Bach in Pyongyang.
Tokyo 2020 officials have previously urged a cautious approach to competitors from the reclusive nation participating at the event amid ongoing tension between Japan and North Korea.
Seventeen Japanese citizens are officially recognised by the country's Government as having been abducted by agents of the North Korean Government during a period of six years from 1977 to 1983.
It is suspected that the actual number of victims is far higher, possibly numbering in the hundreds.
Japan currently bans North Korean citizens from entering the country.
Relations between the two nations were also further strained last year after Kim fired two ballistic missiles over Japanese territory as part of his country's nuclear testing.