Peru has asked the North Korean ambassador to leave the country within five days as global action against the reclusive nation over its recent powerful nuclear test gathers pace.

The US had urged countries in the southern American region including Brazil and Chile to cut off diplomatic ties with Pyongyang to increase international pressure on the Kim Jong-un regime. Vice President Mike Pence's request came after North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test on 3 September. A week ago, Mexico expelled Pyongyang's diplomat in the country.

The Peruvian foreign ministry released a statement on Monday, 11 September, declaring the North's envoy Kim Hak-chol as persona non grata. The ministry said the decision was taken because of Pyongyang's "repeated and flagrant violation" of international regulations.

"This decision has been adopted taking into account that the DPRK has been repeatedly and flagrantly violating United Nations Security Council Resolutions and ignoring the constant calls of the international community to fulfil its international obligations, to respect international law and to finalise irreversible and verifiable nuclear programme," said the ministry.

Peru has had diplomatic relations with North Korea since 1988. In March, the Peruvian government ordered the number of North Korean diplomatic staff to be reduced from six to three.

The expulsion of diplomats has come just as the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a fresh round of sanctions against the North Korean regime.

Kim Jong-un nuclear celebration
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attends a performance dedicated to nuclear scientists and technicians who worked on a hydrogen bomb which the regime claims to have successfully tested STR/AFP/Getty Images