Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
The United States Geological Survey [USGS] reported on 12 February (Tuesday) that it received nine (9) reports from the DPRK about the intensity of the seismic activity caused by the DPRK’s third nuclear test on 12 February 2013. According to USGS, the nine (9) reports came from seven (7) DPRK cities close to the earthquake’s epicenter at the P’unggye-ri nuclear test facility. They were part of USGS Did You Feel It? [DYFI] program which tracks and maps how human populations experience earthquakes and other seismic events. Based on the USGS map, it received reports from Paegam County, Ryanggang Province and from Kilchu, Myo’ngch’o’n and Kyo’ngso’ng Counties and the city of Ch’o’ngjin in North Hamgyo’ng Province. A majority of the respondents reported they experienced light to moderate shaking and no damage.
The question remains: who are the USGS’ nine (9) respondents inside the DPRK? In order to participate in DYFI, one needs access to the Internet to enter the requisite data. Social and telecommunications control in North Hamgyo’ng is generally lax. Among the possibilities are DPRK citizens with dedicated Internet connections, or smartphones, acting autonomously, Chinese or other foreigners working in the area (particularly Ch’o’ngjin) or a coordinated effort from Pyongyang to register technical data on seismic activity to external organizations.