NKorea reshuffles key spy agencies: Report | world | Hindustan Times
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NKorea reshuffles key spy agencies: Report

North Korea has scrapped two of its spy agencies to beef up a third agency run by the Defence Ministry in an apparent effort to give the military more authority, a news report said on Sunday.

world Updated: May 10, 2009 16:41 IST

North Korea has scrapped two of its spy agencies to beef up a third agency run by the Defence Ministry in an apparent effort to give the military more authority, a news report said on Sunday.

North Korea's absolute leader Kim Jong II has devoted much of his country's scarce resources to his 1.2 million-member military, one of the world's largest, under his "songun," or "military-first" policy.

The isolated regime previously operated four to five major spy agencies, primarily to collect intelligence on South Korea.

The two countries are still technically at war since their conflict ended in 1953 with a truce, not a formal peace treaty.

The North also uses the agencies to drum up sources of income, by engaging in illicit drug trafficking, weapons trade and counterfeiting foreign currency, according to the South's Unification Ministry.

Yonhap reported that the North dismantled two agencies run by the Workers' Party and incorporated them into a Defense Ministry-run organ. A fourth agency was downsized, the report said, citing sources it says are privy to North Korean affairs.