KPA takes over party and intel offices

According to Yonhap:

North Korea has carried out a reshuffle of government organizations, shifting the jurisdiction over its overseas espionage and cash cow operations from the Workers’ Party to the military, sources said Sunday.

The North has separated its two major spying and cash-generating overseas trade units — Room 35 and Operation Unit — from the Workers’ Party and transferred them to the People’s Armed Forces, the sources said on condition of anonymity.

The Operation Unit is known to train and send agents to South Korea, the United States and Japan, but its recent operations are believed to have shifted toward trades of arms, drugs and fake bills.

Room 35 is North Korea’s intelligence unit in charge of collecting information from South Korea, Japan, China, Southeast Asia and Europe.

Kim Hyon-hui, one of the two North Korean agents who blew up a Korean Air flight over Myanmar in 1987, was believed to have belonged to the Room 35 and to have been trained in the Operation Unit.

“North Korea’s Operation Unit handles a large amount of cash through illegal activities such as counterfeiting currency, manufacturing drugs and exporting arms,” a source said. “With the Operation Unit now under its wing, the North Korean military will have a major source of independent financing.”

The latest shakeup appears to be intended to address overlapped functions among government organizations and raise their overall efficiency, according to North Korea watchers.

The sources said North Korea may be trying to shed a terrorism-related image from its ruling Workers’ Party, which has tagged along since the 1987 flight bombing.

The full article can be found here:
N. Korea puts spy agencies under military control in major shakeup


One Response to “KPA takes over party and intel offices”

  1. Michael Madden says:

    It has always seemed a bit strange that Room 35 and the Operations Unit were departments of the CCKWP. The personnel in the Operations Unit were always drawn from either the KPA or the KWP/NDC civilian managers. If memory is serving me well this morning, current NDC member and KJI buddy O Kuk Ryol was a department director or vice director of the Operations Unit in Kim il Sung’s time. The idea that the Operations Unit would earn money for the KWP was an idea proposed in the early 1970s by Jang Song Thaek.