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Peru expels North Korean diplomats over nuclear crisis

Officials given 15 days to leave Lima after UN Security Council votes to impose tough new sanctions on North Korea.

North Korean diplomats

Peru's government has ordered the expulsion of two North Korean diplomats after declaring them persona non grata over Pyongyang's "continued violations" of UN Security Council resolutions with its nuclear programme. 

"The government of Peru has informed the North Korean embassy of its decision to declare First Secretary Pak Myong Chol and Third Secretary Ji Hyok persona non grata as officers of the aforementioned diplomatic mission in Lima," Peru's foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday. 

The ministry ordered the two officials to leave the Latin American nation within 15 calendar days. 

Persona non grata is the most serious form of censure a government can take against a person with diplomatic immunity and is often used by governments as a symbolic expression of displeasure.

The government made the announcement late on Friday after "having verified that the diplomatic staff carried out activities incompatible with its diplomatic functions".

North Korea's "continued violations" of United Nations Security Council resolutions also contributed to the decision, the ministry said.

The move comes as the UNSC unanimously voted to impose tough new sanctions on North Korea in response to Pyongyang's latest missile test.

The sanctions, passed on Friday, included a ban on nearly 90 percent of refined petroleum exports to North Korea. Proposed by the United States, the restrictions are designed to prevent Pyongyang from furthering its nuclear programme.

The resolution also orders North Koreans who work abroad to return to the country within 24 months.

Peru, a non-permanent member of the UNSC, had strongly condemned North Korea's launch of a ballistic missile on November 29.

In September, Peru also dismissed North Korea's ambassador, Kim Hak-Chol, over Pyongyang's nuclear programme after having downsized the North Korean embassy in the capital Lima earlier this year. 

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