N.Korea 'Subverting Sanctions to Prepare for Nuke Test'

North Korea has set up dozens of bank accounts under false names abroad to prepare for reprisals after a future nuclear test, the presidential secretary for foreign affairs and national security claimed Wednesday.

Chun Young-woo made the claim at a two-day conference at the Plaza Hotel in Seoul hosted by the Heritage Foundation, Hansun Foundation for Freedom and Happiness and the Chosun Ilbo.

Chun said North Korea cunningly found loopholes in sanctions imposed by the international community and set up the false-name accounts immediately after it launched a rocket in December last year. He called for sanctions to be strengthened "to the level of sanctions against Iran."

Chun later told the Chosun Ilbo, "The accounts under false names were opened in China. North Korea expected sanctions from the UN Security Council and set up these accounts beforehand, and then transferred the money from other accounts. This tells us that it prepared for a nuclear test immediately after the launch of the rocket at the end of last year."

englishnews@chosun.com / Jan. 31, 2013 13:03 KST