December 03, 2023


Stephan Blancke

Stephan Blancke is a political scientist and analyst, whose research focus is on international state and non-state intelligence structures. His doctoral dissertation examined counterintelligence and espionage activities of non-state actors, such as terrorist groups, religious cults and organized crime. His other areas of expertise are North Korean and Chinese espionage activities, their intelligence agencies, these countries' international clandestine networks, and their use of front companies to evade sanctions. Blancke also looks into the activities of non-state actors in the Dark Web, especially focusing on the trade of conventional and non-conventional weapons and material, mercenaries, contract killing and espionage. Among other journals and newspapers, he writes for Jane’s Intelligence Review and Intelligence Online. He can be contacted via his website


How naval similarities support military ties between North Korea and Myanmar

Evidence suggests Pyongyang has provided Gatling guns for the Naypyidaw junta’s newest flagship

Jens Rosenke | Stephan BlanckeApril 8, 2022

Book review: ‘From Kim Jong Il to Kim Jong Un: How the Hardliners Prevailed’

Former German Ambassador Thomas Schäfer recounts the challenges and absurdities of being a diplomat in Pyongyang

Stephan BlanckeJune 30, 2021

Spy games: The North Korean intelligence services and organized crime

Western intelligence agencies increasingly need to adapt to an opponent that operates unconventionally and, at times, erratically

Stephan BlanckeDecember 2, 2016

Sanctions busting: How North Korea smuggles illicit goods

The DPRK's smuggling networks rely on organized crime - and China turning a blind eye

Stephan BlanckeNovember 15, 2016

Follow the money: How North Korea moves cash around the world

Despite international pressure, the DPRK has many ways to get its money from A to B

Stephan BlanckeOctober 31, 2016

Omertà: North Korea’s organized crime at home and abroad

The DPRK's inner circle relies on hard currency from abroad - and operates much like an organized crime cartel

Stephan BlanckeOctober 24, 2016

Tracking the DPRK’s intelligence operations

North Korea's secret services are essential to keeping the regime in power

Stephan BlanckeOctober 18, 2016