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Korean Intelligence Runs Restaurants in Indonesia, Source Claims
Friday, 17 February, 2017 | 20:58 WIB
Korean Intelligence Runs Restaurants in Indonesia, Source Claims

TEMPO.CO, Singapore - The North Korean intelligence agency or the Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB) has been operating in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia over the last two decades.

According to an intelligence source, their operation in the three countries is one of the largest networks outside North Korea. In Indonesia, the source said the RGB disguises its operation by running restaurants.

In conducting their intelligence activities, RGB agents covered their identities by working as engineers, construction consultants, and Korean restaurant owners.

"They used restaurants as main front to conduct intelligence gathering and surveillance, targeting Japanese and South Korean politicians, diplomats, top corporate figures, and businessmen who visited or were based in these countries," the source said as quoted by AsiaOne on Friday, February 17, 2017.

The RGB comes under the jurisdiction of the North Korean State Security Department or State Security ministry and reports directly to North Korea supreme leader Kim Jong-un.

The source added that the RGB was also known to be operating textile factories in major Indonesian cities, including Jakarta.

"One particular outfit located above a North Korean restaurant in central Jakarta was part of the RGB Indonesia office," the source revealed.

To finance the network, the source said that the RGB had also been involved in drug smuggling. The scandal was revealed when it failed to smuggle 125 kilograms of heroin into Australia via the Pong Su, a commercial ship, in 2003.

The source said that investigations by Australian police revealed that the RGB had used Port Klang as a transit to hide the drugs. The RGB had also used Malaysia in early 2000 as one of its destinations to reroute prohibited chemicals, which can be used to make nerve gas, to Pyongyang via China.


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