您现在的位置: 纽约时报中英文网 >> 纽约时报中英文版 >> 国际 >> 正文


更新时间:2017-2-20 18:35:13 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

How the Nuclear Threat From North Korea Has Grown

When North Korea tested a missile that fell harmlessly into the sea this month, it was more than just an attempt by its 33-year-old leader, Kim Jong-un, to jolt a new American president. Arms experts observed something new: solid-fuel technology that makes such missiles easier to hide and launch quickly. North Korea’s nuclear weapons program has progressed in four areas that bear watching: arsenal size, bomb strength, missile technology and ability to elude detection.


Arsenal size: small, but thought to be growing


Knowledge of the weapons stockpile is based on estimates. Experts say that North Korea has fewer than 10 nuclear weapons. Satellite imagery of North Korea’s nuclear complex in Yongbyon, combined with official North Korean propaganda photos and recent nuclear tests, suggests that the country could rapidly expand its arsenal. By one estimate, the country now has enough plutonium and highly enriched uranium to build 20 to 25 nuclear weapons.


Explosive power: from one kiloton to 10 kilotons in 10 years


The explosive force of North Korea’s first nuclear device, tested in October 2006, was less than a kiloton, which is 1,000 tons of TNT. Its second test, in 2008, had more than double that force.


By January 2016, the country claimed to have exploded a hydrogen bomb in a fourth test, but outside monitors expressed skepticism. Seismic readings suggested an explosive force of four to six kilotons.


Seismic readings of North Korea’s fifth test, in September 2016, however, registered a force of approximately 10 kilotons, according to South Korea’s Defense Ministry.


Technology: missiles could reach continental U.S. by 2026


In 1999, George J. Tenet, then director of the Central Intelligence Agency,  said he could hardly overstate his concern about North Korea’s program, warning that the Taepodong-1 missile, with a reach of up to 1,243 miles, could deliver bomb payloads to Alaska and Hawaii.

1999年,时任中央情报局局长的乔治·J·特尼特(George J. Tenet)表示,他对朝鲜项目的担忧怎么描述都不为过,还警告,最远可以飞行1243英里(约合2001公里)的大浦洞1型(Taepodong-1)导弹能将炸弹载荷送抵阿拉斯加和夏威夷。

In the nearly two decades since, the country’s investment in becoming a nuclear weapons power has succeeded despite diplomacy and international sanctions. In 2016, Mr. Kim  launched dozens of missiles for tests and as shows of military might. Some missiles could be launched from mobile pads and submarines, making them easier to hide. They could potentially carry nuclear warheads, according to Siegfried S. Hecker, emeritus director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, birthplace of the atomic bomb. 

自那之后的近20年时间里,尽管受到外交和国际上的制裁,这个国家为成为核武强国而进行的投资取得了成功。2016年,金正恩多次试射导弹,显示了自己的军事实力。一些导弹或许是从移动发射平台和潜水艇上发射,更容易隐蔽。位于原子弹诞生地新墨西哥州洛斯阿拉莫斯国家实验室(Los Alamos National Laboratory)的荣誉退休主任西格夫里·S·赫克(Siegfried S. Hecker)表示,朝鲜的这些导弹未来可以搭载核弹头。

He and other analysts have said they assume North Korea has designed and demonstrated nuclear warheads that can be mounted on short-range and perhaps medium-range missiles. Writing in September 2016, Dr. Hecker said, “Pyongyang will likely develop the capability to reach the continental United States with a nuclear tipped missile in a decade or so.”


Covert capability: smaller, more mobile weapons


When he became North Korea’s top leader in April 2012, Mr. Kim said that his “first, second and third” priorities were to strengthen the military, and he declared that superiority in military technology was “no longer monopolized by imperialists.”  Less than three years later, Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, then commander of United States forces in South Korea, said he believed that North Korea had made a nuclear weapon small enough to fit atop a missile.

2012年4月成为朝鲜最高领导人之后,金正恩曾表示,他“首要、次要和第三重要”的优先事项是加强军事力量,还宣称军事技术方面的优势将“不再由帝国主义所垄断”。三年不到,时任美军驻韩指挥官的柯蒂斯·M·斯卡帕罗蒂上将(Curtis M. Scaparrotti)便表示,他认为朝鲜已经制造出小到可以搭载于导弹顶端的核武器。

In May 2015, Mr. Kim said North Korea had the ability to miniaturize nuclear weapons. That claim was greeted with skepticism by analysts, but in March 2016 Mr. Kim was photographed admiring what state media described as a home-built warhead. In August 2016 North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile from a submarine, demonstrating a significant improvement in its ability to strike enemies stealthily.


The missile test this month, analysts said, further proved that North Korea was committed to producing more lethal systems that could be deployed quickly.   “The North Koreans are sincerely paranoid,” said Joshua Pollack, a senior research associate at the Middlebury Institute’s James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. “They’re increasingly very blunt about how they would use these things preemptively.”

分析人士还表示,本月试射的这枚导弹进一步证明了朝鲜致力于发展出能更快部署的更为危险的系统。“朝鲜真是偏执狂,”米德尔伯里国际研究学院詹姆斯·马丁核不扩散研究中心(Middlebury Institute’s James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies)的高级研究员乔舒亚·波拉克(Joshua Pollack)说。“对于如何先发制人地使用这些武器,他们越来越不加掩饰。”