Following the United States’ continued campaigns to influence the world into imposing more economic sanctions on North Korea, our position is that we will not sit back and watch this happen. In order to respond to the United States intimidations, our military forces will participate in a 15-day military exercise as a show of military power and strength to the United States. As the Chief Officer in charge of all intelligence organs in North Korea, I am keen on seeing the success of the 15-day military exercises without triggering further sanctions orchestrated by the United States. Based on that premise, this paper details the collection plan for North Korean government intelligence organs. These intelligence organs are The Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB), The Ministry of State Security (MSS) also known as State Security Department (SSD), The United Front Department (UFD), and the 225th Bureau (Lovelace Jr., 2017, p.19). Through these organs, we will determine from acquired raw data (unevaluated data) how the US may respond to our planned 15-day military exercise.
1.2: Collection Plan
The collection plan will cover the five intelligence disciplines and will act as a framework which we will use to establish and asses our intelligence needs, afterward, we will use the plan to satisfy those needs.
Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) is the intelligence that will be acquired from publicly accessible sources. Therefore, by virtue of being responsible for investigating cases of domestic espionage and carrying out of foreign counterespionage roles in North Korea’s overseas missions, the Ministry of State Security (MSS) will be tasked with OSINT operations. OSINT will be used to collect as much information about the likely options and reactions from the United States in regard to the 15-day military exercise. OSINT will be used to mine and interpret data from the Web, local media outlets, and from both local and foreign military analysts. By using OSINT, we will be able to streamline our reconnaissance process and enable us to effectively narrow-down to our open sources. With respect to the information that we will gather, OSINT will significantly reduce the number of variations and combinations of sources we will have to deal with. In turn, this will enable us to harvest more information. By using OSINT, we will effectively discover our targets of information particularly considering that the US media is very quick on commenting about what their government plans or intends to do.
One of our most reasonable step in intelligence gathering against United States’ likely reaction to our 15-day military exercises is to make use of our eyes in the sky, this will be the responsibility of Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB) organ. This organ’s tasks will be shared amongst the RGB’s six bureaus which have dedicated roles such as operations, technology and cyber expertise, reconnaissance, foreign intelligence, inter-Korean discussions, as well as service support (the United States, 2015). According to Murrett ; Navy (2006), GEOINT (Geospatial Intelligence) is a specialized discipline within the wider area of intelligence collection. As can be seen in Figure 1, the GEOINT discipline will entail almost all processes in the activities related to strategizing, gathering, processing, assessment, and dissemination of spatial data with the aim of acquiring intelligence about how the US will or is likely to respond to our planned military exercise. We will then combine the acquired intelligence with other data by way of analysis and visualization techniques. Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) will be applied during the 15-day nationwide exercise, to track and monitor any movements or buildup of the US naval forces closer to the Korean Peninsula and the Sea of Japan. By use of GEOINT, we will also conduct an analysis of imagery and geospatial information of possible deployment of US troops in South Korea. This will be achieved with the support of our national satellites.
Figure 1: Illustration of processes in GEOINT discipline
Source: Heuer, R. (n.d.)
Another highly valuable intelligence collection discipline at our disposal is Measurement and Signature Intelligence (MASINT) and it will be the responsibility of Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB) and The Ministry of State Security (MSS). According to Shorrock (2008), MASINT is an extremely confidential type of intelligence that largely relies on “infrared heat imaging, acoustic signatures, seismic data, and other information picked up by air and ground sensors (p.143).” For example, through MASINT we will able to record infrared radiation released by any objects (belonging to the United States) that has a temperature above absolute zero (Akula, Ghosh ; Sardana, 2011, October). These radiations will be essential for border surveillance and law enforcement particularly by the Ministry of State Security (MSS) also known as State Security Department (SSD). This will ensure no US spies or agents cross our borders to spy on the ongoing military exercises. Acoustic signatures will be used to identify unfriendly (United States Submarines) naval vessels (Clark, 2010) around the Korean Peninsula. This data will produce exploitable signs that we will use to enrich our knowledge base of the United States’ most likely options in regard to our 15-day military exercises.
Buckley (2013) quotes the US Department of Defense’s definition of Human Intelligence (HUMINT) as “a category of intelligence derived from information collected and provided by human sources” (p.75). As its name suggests, HUMINT has been around for long just as humanity itself, and up until now, it is one of the best techniques for collecting data. Therefore, we will use it because of its potential to provide us with a huge and diverse amount of information. In its basic form, it is a discipline for gathering information via interpersonal interactions. This particular intelligence discipline will be applied by several intelligence organs- The Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB), The Ministry of State Security (MSS), also known as State Security Department (SSD) and the 225th Bureau. Agents drawn from these three organs have the reach and expertise to anonymously interact, solicit, and extract information from different people on what would be the likely scenario or reaction by the US in regard to the 15-day military exercises across our country.
HUMINT will provide us with information in areas where technical intelligence may not help much in addition driving the collection requirements of the other five disciplines in case further intelligence information is needed within those disciplines. For example, we will regularly make use of our non-diplomatic facilities in foreign countries for intelligence on the position of the US government regarding our countrywide military exercises. The facilities we will use include trade offices, travel and communication bureaus, cultural and learning institutions, including tourism facilities. Since HUMINT entails a lot of human interactions, our officers will have to understand the American culture and English so that they can interact with them without any difficulties and hence realize their mission. Our officers will be required to have the skills and technical know-how on how to handle sources who are likely to be in possession of or access to the US classified information.
According to Interagency Operations Security Support Staff (U.S.) et al, (1996), SIGINT (Signal intelligence) is one of the several intelligence collection disciplines and includes subdivisions such as Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) and Communication Intelligence (COMINT) (pp.2-6). In its basic definition, Signals intelligence (SIGINT) is coined from the interception of signals that can either be individual or a combination of communications intelligence (COMINT) and electronic intelligence (ELlNT). In regard to our planned 15-day nationwide military exercises, it is a fact that the exercise is likely to draw the US attention, therefore, intelligence-driven decision-making from our end will be crucial in the planning and during the exercise. In order to get accurate info about the likely US response to this great event, our intelligence organs will definitely rely on Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) in gathering the relevant information. Based on the political ramifications the exercise is likely to trigger, the Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB) and The Ministry of State Security (MSS) or the State Security Department (SSD) will be tasked with this particular intelligence discipline because President Kim Jong-un will on regular basis need to be personally briefed on any credible information gathered.
Towards acquisition of accurate information on what actions the US is likely to take regarding our military exercises, our officers from Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB) and The Ministry of State Security (MSS) or the State Security Department (SSD) will perform SIGINT from different platforms. For example, from our overt collection locations in ships and aircraft as well as our covert sites within the United States itself. SIGINT will enable us to track transmissions originating from communications satellites and terrestrial infrastructures. Particularly, this will be very useful to us considering a significant amount of communication from the United States destined to foreign locations is largely reliant on communications satellites (Roper, 2013). We will target communications satellites essential for or that are regularly used for the communication of U.S. Government decisions. These will include the International Telecommunications Satellite system (INTELSAT), the International Maritime Satellite system (NMARSAT), and the European Satellite system (EUROSAT) (Interagency Operations Security Support Staff (U.S.) et al, 1996, pp.2-7).
1.2.6: Cyber Collection
Cyber-collection is basically the use of cyber-warfare tactics with the aim of conducting espionage. According to Kiyuna ; Conyers (2015), cyber-collection processes ordinarily rely on the planting of malware into a preyed network or computer systems so as to search for, collect and extract the required or classified information. One of the primary roles of our Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB) is overseas intelligence, this means technology and cyber expertise will prove to be key drivers towards accomplishing our objectives, that is, to assess how the US will respond to the 15-day military exercise. Therefore, the cyber collection will be tasked to RGB. Our cyber collection will be conducted to acquire United States’ classified intelligence information (both political and military) touching on our planned military exercises. In the course of cyber collection, the most important aspect of our mission is to correctly identify the perfect sources of information and ensuring the data is accurate and valid.
In addition to ensuring the data is valid, our RGB officers will be under instruction to prioritize raw data (unevaluated data gathered from the primary source) from secure data sources, these will comprise of the US government servers and ICT infrastructures either through a direct or remote access. This raw data will be the most useful in terms of enriching our intelligence database even though it will require much more time to process and analyze. The data will be required to have raw specifics like IP addresses, network activity logs, and if possible the complete details of forum discussions and posts by key government decision-makers in the US (for example we will keep a closer watch on President Trump’s tweets and comments on social media platforms).
Just like other intelligence disciplines, the cyber collection will be subjected to what is commonly known as intelligence cycle, which according to Richards (2010), is a strategic framework for the development of an objective-driven intelligence support. Based on this cycle RGB agents will plan for the data collection, the plan will then be implemented, and finally evaluated. The findings by RGB agents will be analyzed to generate relevant intelligence. The produced intelligence report will be disseminated and re-assessed within the context of our objective which to find out how the US is likely to react or respond to our 15-day military exercises.
Our country has a very high probability of collecting the required information. In terms of delivery by all government agencies and organs within our country, our intelligence organs are second to none. For example, it is widely reported that our security/intelligence organs did indeed demonstrate its ability to the US that it can infiltrate locations outside our borders when Kim Jong-Nam was assassinated by our agents in Malaysia in 2017 as reported by Lam (2018, February 27) of Fox News. The effectiveness of intelligence organs cannot be underestimated, therefore, there is a high probability that we will succeed. It is important to note that our main external intelligence agency is the Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB) which has a number of active bureaus such as reconnaissance, technology and cyber, overseas intelligence, and service support. Collectively, RGB’s intelligence results in the past have been impressive. Therefore, in regard to the likelihood of finding out how the US would respond to the 15-day exercise, chances are that our intelligence organs will succeed in getting the relevant information.