Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
The Pyongyang Defense Command is a corps-level Korean People’s Army [KPA] unit tasked with protection of the city of Pyongyang and the surrounding area. Its personnel is estimated 70,000 with tanks, personnel carriers and mechanized and anti-aircraft artillery. It constitutes the second protective ring around the DPRK’s leadership. Its primary mission is to neutralize or respond to a military attack on the country’s leadership.
The current commander of the PDC is currently not known. The last known commanding officer was VMar Ri Yong Ho, who served as Chief of the KPA General Staff until his removal from office in July 2012. Previous PDC commanders had family or long-standing social ties to the Kim Family.