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朝鲜第六次核试验一触即发

更新时间:2017-4-15 23:23:26 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

North Korea May Be Preparing Its 6th Nuclear Test
朝鲜第六次核试验一触即发

New satellite images suggest that North Korea might soon conduct another underground detonation in its effort to learn how to make nuclear arms — its sixth explosive test in a decade and perhaps its most powerful yet.

新的卫星图像表明,朝鲜可能很快会再一次进行地下引爆试验,旨在学习如何制造核武器——这是它10年来的第6次爆炸试验,也许是迄今为止威力最大的一次。

North Korea’s nuclear tests have grown steadily more destructive, and the country continues to pursue its longtime goal of putting a nuclear warhead on an intercontinental missile capable of reaching targets around the globe.

朝鲜核试验的破坏力越来越大,并继续向其长远目标发展,即将核弹头安装在射程覆盖全球的洲际导弹上。

The United States recently ordered an aircraft carrier and other warships toward the Korean Peninsula in a show of force intended to discourage the North from testing a nuclear weapon.

前不久,美国下令向朝鲜半岛派遣一艘航空母舰和其他军舰,以展示自己的军事力量,遏制朝鲜进行核武器试验。

While examining satellite imagery, experts have observed a wide range of activity at Mount Mantap, a mile-high peak where North Korea conducts its nuclear tests. Beneath the mountain, a system of tunnels has been excavated for the past five detonations of the North’s nuclear bombs.

专家们在研究卫星图像时观察到,万塔山存在大范围的活动——这个1英里高的山峰是朝鲜进行核试验的场所。朝鲜已在山下为过去5次核爆挖了一个坑道系统。

North Korea often marks significant dates with shows of military force, and analysts say it might detonate a nuclear weapon to celebrate the birthday this Saturday of the nation’s founder, Kim Il-sung, the grandfather of the current leader, Kim Jong-un.

朝鲜经常通过展示军事力量来纪念重要日子。分析人士表示,本周六,它可能会引爆一个核武器,来庆祝开国领袖金日成(Kim Il-sung)诞辰。金日成是现任领袖金正恩(Kim Jong-un)的祖父。

Big debris pile suggests the possibility of a much larger detonation.

巨大的瓦砾堆表明更大爆炸的可能性。

Since late 2013, piles of rocky debris from the excavation of the site’s North tunnel system have grown quite large — now big enough to cover a football field, and quite high. It’s the largest pile ever observed there. Work on the excavation has recently slowed, quite likely signaling readiness for the next detonation.

自2013年底以来,从该试验场北侧坑道挖出的碎石堆已经相当庞大,现在足以覆盖一个足球场,而且很高。它是在那里观察到最大的一堆。最近,挖掘工作开始放缓,很有可能意味着下一次爆炸已经准备就绪。

So too, observers of the test site have recently noted a lot of water being pumped out of the North tunnel system – presumably to prevent washouts and keep it dry for test instrumentation. Groundwater is often a problem in tunneling as it can slow progress, weaken structures and cause shorts in electrical gear.

该试验场的观察者最近还发现,大量的水正被抽出北侧坑道——应该是为了预防冲蚀,保持试验设备干燥。地下水是挖掘隧道的一个常见问题,因为它可能会延缓进度,削弱建筑结构,造成电气设备短路。

Scientists at the Los Alamos weapons lab who have studied images of the large debris pile recently concluded that Mount Mantap could withstand a nuclear explosion of up to 282 kilotons – roughly 20 times stronger than the Hiroshima blast. Previously, the largest detonations were in the Hiroshima range.

前不久,研究这些大型瓦砾堆图像的洛斯阿拉莫斯(Los Alamos)武器实验室的科学家得出结论,万塔山能够承受高达282千吨的核爆炸,大约比广岛爆炸的破坏力大20倍。之前最大威力的爆炸都和广岛爆炸同一级别。

No one outside of North Korea knows for sure what could take place or how big the blast might be. It’s a guessing game — though a sophisticated one for Washington’s intelligence agencies, and less so for civilians armed only with unclassified information. Either way, it's a detective story full of clues, questions and a protagonist with a clear motive.

朝鲜之外的人都不能确切地知道可能会发生什么,也不确定爆炸的威力会有多大。这是一个猜谜游戏——不过对华盛顿的情报机构来说,这是一个复杂的游戏,而对于只知道非机密信息的平民来说,它没那么复杂。不管怎样,它是一个充满线索和问题、主角动机明确的侦探故事。

Experts in satellite imagery, military analysts around the world, and geologists and physicists track progress at the remote site mainly through the observation of tunneling, building construction, truck movements and, though harder to see, personnel moves.

卫星图像专家、世界各地的军事分析师以及地质学家和物理学家主要通过观察坑道挖掘、建筑施工、卡车活动以及人员活动(虽然这更难观测)来追踪这个遥远试验场的进展。

Seismic activity helps pinpoint North Korea’s detonations.

地震活动有助于确定朝鲜的核爆炸。

Mount Mantap is the world’s only active nuclear test site. Most other nuclear states long ago gave up such explosions in a coordinated effort to end arms races and their dangerous and costly spirals of military action and reaction.

万塔山是世界上唯一活跃的核试验场。其他大多数有核国家早就放弃了这样的爆炸,以共同努力终止军备竞赛以及它们造成的危险而昂贵的军事行动和反应。

In North Korea, the test devices are buried deep inside tunnels bored through solid rock far below Mount Mantap’s peaks, creating field labs for nuclear experiments. The nearest major city, Chongjin, is situated about 50 miles to the northeast.

朝鲜的试验装备深埋于在万塔山下坚硬岩石中开凿出来的坑道内,它为核试验创造了场地。最近的主要城市清津位于其东北部约50英里处。

The tunnels for the North’s tests are excavated just over halfway up Mount Mantap, which rises to a height of 7,234 feet. The bomb is placed at the end of the tunnel, which gets partly backfilled to prevent radioactive leakage, and then detonated in the test.

朝鲜为核试验开凿的坑道位于万塔山中部偏上——该山海拔7234英尺(约合2205千米)。炸弹放置在坑道末端——坑道部分回填,以防放射性泄漏——然后在试验中引爆。

To pinpoint the geographic site of the nuclear blasts, experts rely on the kind of seismologic data used to track earthquakes. Similarly, each of the North’s detonations has generated shock waves that register around the globe.

专家们依靠地震学数据确定核爆炸的地理位置。朝鲜的每一次核爆炸产生的冲击波在全球范围内都可以检测到。

Experts say the North’s tunnel system will quite likely play a significant role in future testing because it is the busiest area at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, has a conspicuous perimeter fence and has the largest amount of protective rock directly overhead.

专家表示,朝鲜的坑道系统很有可能在未来的试验中发挥重要作用,因为它是丰溪里(Punggye-ri)核试验场最繁忙的区域,设有明显的圆形围栏,正上部有最多的保护性岩石。

Several independent teams, including ones from China, South Korea, Norway and the United States, have gathered seismic readings from the North’s bomb tests. In addition, a world body known as the the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization, based in Vienna, Austria, operates a sprawling network of global sensors.

中国、韩国、挪威和美国等国的几个独立团队收集了朝鲜核炸弹试验的地震级数。此外,奥地利维也纳的一个被称为全面禁止核试验条约组织(Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization)的世界性机构在全球范围内布置了一个庞大的传感网络。

Last year, a team of South Korean scientists confirmed a test’s exact location within Mount Mantap by studying data from a radar satellite that detected subtle elevation changes on the mountain’s surface.

去年,韩国的一组科学家通过研究雷达卫星的数据,确定了万塔山内部一次试验的确切位置,该卫星在山体表面监测到微小的海拔变化。

So far, North Korea’s nuclear tests have grown more destructive.

到目前为止,朝鲜的核试验已经变得更具破坏性。

The North has shown technical savvy in pacing its nuclear tests to increase the amount of time for bomb makers to conduct detailed analyses of the blasts and learn from mistakes.

朝鲜已经表现出了技术上的明智,他们放慢核试验的步调,让炸弹研发者有更多的时间对爆炸进行详细分析,总结经验教训。

“They’ve done five tests in 10 years,” said Siegfried S. Hecker, a Stanford professor who once directed the Los Alamos weapons laboratory in New Mexico, the birthplace of the atomic bomb. “You can learn a lot in that time.”

“他们在10年内完成了5次试验,”斯坦福大学(Stanford University)教授西格夫里·S·赫克(Siegfried S. Hecker)说。他曾是原子弹诞生地新墨西哥州洛斯阿拉莫斯武器实验室的主任。“在这么长时间里,你可以学到很多东西。”

In contrast, he added, India and Pakistan conducted a rush of nuclear detonations in May 1998 in what experts called a blitz of saber rattling. “They couldn’t have learned much,” Dr. Hecker said.

他还说,相比之下,1998年5月,印度和巴基斯坦在短时间内连续进行了几次核爆炸试验,专家称之为武力炫耀的闪电行动。赫克说:“他们不可能从中学到很多东西。”

North Korea may be focused on increasing the power and range of its nuclear weapons.

朝鲜可能侧重于增加其核武器的威力和打击范围。

North Korea’s past tests are thought to have centered on mastering a simple type of atomic bomb, known as an implosion device.

朝鲜过去的试验被认为侧重于掌握一种简单的内爆型原子弹。

Some of the tests may have featured “boosted” atomic bombs, however — meaning that an injection of tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen, could have increased their destructive power. All such fuels, known as thermonuclear, need the high heats from an exploding atom bomb for ignition.

然而,有些试验可能用的是“加强版”原子弹,也就是注入了氚。氚是一种放射性氢,能增强破坏力。所有这些热核燃料都需要爆炸原子弹的高温才能点燃。

“It’s possible that North Korea has already boosted,” said Gregory S. Jones, a scientist at the Rand Corporation who analyzes nuclear issues. Like other experts, he pointed to the nation’s two nuclear detonations last year as possible tests of small boosted arms.

“可能朝鲜已经进行了加强,”兰德公司(RAND Corporation)分析核问题的科学家格雷戈里·S·琼斯(Gregory S. Jones)说。和其他专家一样,他也认为朝鲜去年的两次核爆可能是在试验小型的加强核武。

As signs of the North’s interest in boosting, experts cite modifications to a reactor that could make tritium, as well as construction of a plant that could gather up the radioactive gas. Boosted arms can raise the destructive power of atomic blasts or greatly reduce their need for atomic fuel. That savings can significantly lighten and shrink the resulting arms, making them easier to hurl over long distances. Boosting is considered a main step to scaling down warheads so they can fit atop intercontinental missiles.

专家们认为朝鲜对加强型武器感兴趣的迹象包括对一个能制造氚的反应堆进行改造;修建了一个能够收集这种放射性气体的工厂。加强型武器能够提高原子弹爆炸的破坏力,或极大减少对原子燃料的需求。这种节省能够显著减轻和缩小核武器,使其更容易远距离飞行。对核弹进行加强被认为是缩小核弹头的一个主要步骤,以便它们能被安装在洲际导弹上。

Nine countries possess nuclear arms, most having advanced over time from making simple atom bombs to advanced hydrogen bombs. Nuclear experts say North Korea’s program is at an intermediate phase of development — somewhere between stages one and three. The secret to achieving more destructive power is to raise the amount of thermonuclear fuel that an exploding atom bomb can ignite.

九个国家拥有核武器,其中大多数随着时间的推移已经从制造简单的原子弹发展到制造先进的氢弹。核专家表示,朝鲜的核项目处于中期发展阶段——也就是在第一和第三阶段之间。实现更大破坏力的秘诀是增加爆炸原子弹能够点燃的热核燃料的量。

Experts say the likelihood of North Korea making strides in its nuclear program has risen with the recent evidence that the nation tried to sell excess lithium-6, which is the main ingredient for making thermonuclear fuels, including tritium.

专家表示,朝鲜核计划取得进步的可能性有所增加,因为最近有证据表明,该国试图出售过剩的锂6,它是制造包括氚在内的热核燃料的主要成分。

So too, satellite images of the mountainous test site reveal the digging of the deep tunnel system, which could allow the detonation of a larger device.

该山体试验场的卫星图像也显示,朝鲜开凿了一个很深的坑道系统,以便引爆更大的装置。

A gathering at the remote site is considered a strong sign.

在这个偏远地点的人员集结被认为是一个明显的迹象。

On March 28, a satellite image showed people gathered in front of an administrative building at the test site. The last time such a large group was observed was on Jan. 4, 2013, a little more than a month before North Korea’s third nuclear detonation.

3月28日,卫星图像显示,人们聚集在该试验场的一座行政楼前。上次观测到这么一大群人集结是在2013年1月4日,也就是在朝鲜进行第三次核爆一个多月前。

Experts see the recent gathering as yet another sign that the North may be getting closer to detonating a device in its increasingly long series of nuclear tests.

专家们将最近这次集结视为另一个迹象,表明朝鲜即将引爆它越来越漫长的系列核试验中的又一个装置。

“The fact these formations can be seen suggests that Pyongyang is sending a political message that the sixth nuclear test will be conducted soon,” wrote Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., and Jack Liu, experts at 38 North, an analysis group that closely tracks North Korea. “Alternatively, it may be engaged in a well-planned game of brinkmanship.”

“我们能够看到这些集结本身表明,平壤正在释放一个政治信号:第六次核试验将很快进行,”密切关注朝鲜的研究组织38 North的专家小约瑟夫·S·贝穆德斯(Joseph S. Bermudez Jr)和杰克·刘(Jack Liu)写道。“或者,它可能在进行一个精心策划的边缘策略游戏。”

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