DPRK's main intelligence agencies in 2023

The DPRK (North Korean) intelligence collection has always been an important part of its security strategy.

In addition to collecting intelligence through cyber reconnaissance, espionage and other clandestine means, it also utilizes information from various open channels to collect intelligence. This includes information on various fields such as politics, military, economy and technology.

The main collection targets of the DPRK's intelligence and security services are South Korea, the United States and Japan. These three countries are generally regarded as the biggest security threats to the DPRK, and therefore the DPRK does everything in its power to collect intelligence. It sends personnel to these countries, obtains classified information, listens in on communications, attacks computer systems, etc.

In addition, North Korea may also conduct intelligence activities in places where it has a diplomatic or large-scale economic presence abroad. For example, the DPRK has substantial commercial interests in places such as Africa, South America, and the Middle East, and therefore may use its commercial establishments and overseas representative offices to gather intelligence.

In addition, the DPRK sends diplomats and other delegations to various countries to gather information on local political, economic, and military intelligence.

Overall, the DPRK's intelligence-gathering activities are very extensive and complex, covering a wide range of fields and countries. The strength of the intelligence and security services of the DPRK is also not to be underestimated, as it is an organization with strong intelligence collection and analysis capabilities.

Main Intelligence Agencies of the DPRK

The Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB) is the DPRK's main foreign intelligence agency, responsible for collecting and conducting covert operations. The RGB consists of six highly independent directorates: operations, reconnaissance, technical and cyber capabilities, overseas intelligence, inter-Korean talks and service support. They each have strong functions that provide a solid foundation for the RGB in collecting intelligence and conducting covert missions.

The Ministry of State Security (MSS) is one of the most important counterintelligence agencies in the DPRK and, as an autonomous body, reports directly to the DPRK leader. The agency has a wide range of responsibilities, including prison management, investigation of domestic espionage cases, repatriation of defectors, and monitoring of foreign missions.

The Unified Front Department (UFD) openly attempts to establish pro-North Korean groups in South Korea. The UFD is also the main department involved in managing inter-Korean dialog and DPRK policy toward South Korea.

The 225th Bureau is responsible for training agents to infiltrate South Korea.