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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

High-Level Official Defects From North Korea

South Korean media is reporting that a high-level official of the North Korean government defected to the South earlier in the year. There isn’t much known about the identity of this individual at this time, nor has the government in Seoul confirmed the defection, but, if true, the defection could give regional governments an inside view into the functioning of the Kim regime in Pyongyang. According to the available reports, the individual held a high rank in the North Korean government on par with cabinet level duties.

Of further value is the claim that the official worked in the State Security Department which is responsible for running the secret police and nearly all of the counterintelligence functions of the North Korean government. Keep in mind that counterintelligence is both a defensive and offensive discipline.

In essence this defector would have insight into people suspected of spying for foreign governments inside North Korea and offensive missions designed to exploit foreign clandestine activities directed against Pyongyang that have been uncovered by the SSA. Again, if this report is accurate then this defector could be a windfall of information to the South Koreans and their allies.

Furthermore, this defection could be used as a bellwether for the viability of the Kim government. It’s been claimed that  46 officials – mostly serving overseas – have defected in the last three years, but having someone inside the Kim cabinet defect is far more valuable.

Read complete report here.

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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