Presidential Security Service

Presidential Security Service (대통령경호처), or PSS for short, is a South Korean close protection agency. Based on the United States Secret Service, the South Korean PSS is an independent agency responsible for the protection of the President of South Korea the Prime Minister of South Korea their respective families, the Blue House, Chongri Gonggwan (the official residence of the Prime Minister of South Korea) and visiting heads of state. The agents go through years of rigorous training, background, physical, health, mental health and educational checks before they officially become a PSS agent and get their first assignment.

Presidential Security Service
Korean name
Revised RomanizationDaetongryeong Gyeonghocheo
McCune–ReischauerTaet'ongryŏng K'yŏnghochŏ
Presidential Security Service
Daetongryeong Gyeonghocheo yom
Taet'ongryŏng K'yŏnghochŏ
Agency overview
Formed1963 (56 years ago)
Superseding agency
  • Kyong Mu Dae Presidential Security Police (First)
    Blue House Presidential Police (Second)
JurisdictionGovernment of South Korea
HeadquartersNear Blue House Seoul, South Korea
Annual budgetClassified
Agency executives
  • Ju Young-hoon, Head
  • Lee Young-seok, Vice Head
WebsiteOfficial Site

The unit is currently being commanded by Ju Young-Hoon, Head of the PSS.[1] Its headquarters and related support units are based near the Blue House.[2]


The PSS had been established in 1949 as the Kyong Mu Dae Presidential Security Police.[3] Its name soon changed in 1960 to the Blue House Presidential Police with a Security Force raised in 1961 to closely guard Park Chung Hee.[3]

The unit had a name change again, this time to the PSS, after the PSS Law 157 had passed in 1963 with Hong Jong Chul as its first chief[3] under the direction of the Gyeongmundae Police Force.[4] Yet Pak Chong-gyu headed the PSS from 1963 to 1974.[5] PSS responsibilities were increased after North Korean soldiers of the 124th Army Unit attacked the Blue House in 1968.[6][7]

In 1974, the PSS was granted more power over the South Korean military and various law enforcement agencies under the enactment of Security Committee for presidential protection (Executive Order 7246) and of Security Control Unit for presidential protection (Executive Order 7246)[8] after Park Chung Hee's wife, Yuk Young-soo, was killed.[9]

The abolition of the Security Committee for presidential protection (Executive Order 9692) and abolition of Security Control Unit for presidential protection (Executive Order 9692) came in 1979 after Park Chung Hee had been assassinated. In 1981, the PSS was mandated, by the revision of PSS directives,[10] to protect former South Korean presidents and their families.[8]

The PSS was involved in the close protection of Pope John Paul II during an attempt to attack him when he visited the country on May 6, 1984 in Seoul.[10]

On February 1, 1989, the Cheongnamdae (Presidential retreat) guard squad was formed.[11]

On April 1, 1993, the Mugunghwa Dongsa (Korean: Clearing away of the security house) division was created to act as a counter-terrorism unit.[12] On March 3, 1999, a PSS Multi Security Training Center was created.[13]

During the 2002 FIFA World Cup, the PSS established the Cheong Wa Dae World Cup Safety Measures Team and the World Cup Security & Safety Control Division to bolster security on South Korean soil[13]

The PSS was relieved of their guard duties of the Blue House on April 18, 2003 as jurisdiction was given to the Chungcheongbuk-do Provincial Government.[14] On January 1, 2005, the Pusan APEC Security Safety Control Group was established by the PSS[14]

The Presidential Security Safety Measures Committee was legalized as a committee on March 10, 2005.[14]


Among the duties conducted by PSS agents include close protection for the following:[15]

  1. The President of South Korea and his/her family
  2. The President-elect and his/her family
  3. The Acting President and his/her spouse
  4. Former Presidents and their spouse and children receive security service protection within ten (10) years after retirement from office only where it is not against his/her wish
  5. Head of a state or head of executive branch of a foreign country visiting Korea, and his/her spouse
  6. Any other domestic and foreign persons that the Chief of the Presidential Security Service deems to be necessary to protect


As of 2008, the PSS had been organized into the following:[16]

  • Head of the PSS
    • Inspector General
  • Vice Head of the PSS
    • Headquarters for Innovation & Planning
    • Headquarters for Administration
    • Headquarters for Protection
    • Headquarters for Intelligence & Security
    • Headquarters for Education & Training

The PSS has a code and a pledge that its agents must abide by at all times:

Code and Pledge


  • Unity - The will for unity amongst all and conformity with the President reflecting the teamwork orientated characteristic of security duties[17]
  • Loyalty - The very basic mental attitude of security agents towards the nation and its people[17]
  • Eternity - Security duties pursue eternal honor to the end by being with the President with a precondition of self-sacrifice[17]
  • Honor - Expertise and dignity of the security duty based on sacrifice and service[17]


  1. One, we will lay down our lives for the successful execution of our duties.[17]
  2. Another, we will act in a righteous and truthful manner.[17]
  3. Third, we will firmly unify on the basis of mutual trust.[17]
  4. Fourth, we will guard the preservation of public peace like our lives.[17]
  5. Fifth, we will guard the honor and maintain dignity.[17]



  1. Profile of Head Retrieved on March 3, 2018.
  2. Location. Retrieved on January 24, 2008.
  3. Presidential Security Service at Retrieved on January 24, 2008.
  4. Introduction to PSS. Archived 2004-02-16 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on January 24, 2008.
  5. Joo-Hong Kim, "The Armed Forces" pp. 168-199, at pp. 181, 191, in Kim and Vogel, editors, The Park Chung Hee Era. The transformation of South Korea (Harvard University 2011).
  6. History of Activities, The 3rd Republic. Retrieved on January 24, 2008.
  7. Scenes from an Unfinished War: Low-Intensity Conflict in Korea, 1966-1968 Archived 2009-03-25 at the Wayback Machine
  8. Presidential Security Service at Retrieved on January 24, 2008.
  9. History of Activities, the 4th Republic. Retrieved on January 24, 2008
  10. History of Activities, the 5th Republic. Retrieved on January 24, 2008
  11. History of Activities, the 6th Republic. Retrieved on January 24, 2008.
  12. History of Activities, Civilian Government. Retrieved on January 24, 2008.
  13. History of Activities, People's Government. Retrieved on January 24, 2008.
  14. History of Activities, Participatory Government. Retrieved on January 24, 2008.
  15. "PRESIDENTIAL SECURITY SERVICE REPUBLIC OF KOREA". (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-02-13.
  16. Organizations & Functions. Archived 2003-09-02 at Retrieved on January 24, 2008.
  17. Code & Pledge. Retrieved on January 24, 2008.
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