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更新时间:2017-4-20 10:51:39 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

U.S. Aircraft Carrier Revelation Leaves South Koreans Feeling Cheated

SEOUL, South Korea — Just 10 days ago, when news broke that the Trump administration was sending the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson to the Korean Peninsula, many South Koreans feared a possible war with North Korea. Others cheered for Washington, calling the deployment a powerful symbol of its commitment to deterring the North.

韩国首尔——就在10天前,当特朗普政府将“卡尔文森号”(Carl Vinson)航空母舰派往朝鲜半岛水域的消息传来时,许多韩国人担心可能要爆发与朝鲜的战争。也有些人为华盛顿喝彩,称部署航母是美国承诺遏制朝鲜的一个强有力的象征。

On Wednesday, after it was revealed that the carrier strike group was actually thousands of miles away and had been sailing in the opposite direction, toward the Indian Ocean, it left South Koreans feeling bewildered, cheated and even manipulated by the United States, their country’s most important ally.


“Trump’s lie over the Carl Vinson,” read a headline on the website of the newspaper JoongAng Ilbo on Wednesday.


“Like North Korea, which is often accused of displaying fake missiles during military parades, is the United States, too, now employing ‘bluffing’ as its North Korea policy?” the article asked.


The episode raised questions about whether major allies of the United States, like South Korea and Japan, had been informed of the carrier’s whereabouts, and whether the misinformation undercut America’s strategy to contain North Korea’s nuclear ambitions by using empty threats.


American aircraft carriers regularly visit waters near the Korean Peninsula as part of annual military exercises with South Korea and Japan. But when the United States Pacific Command said on April 9 that the Carl Vinson had been ordered to leave Singapore and return to the Western Pacific, the decision was considered highly unusual, as it had been in exercises off the Korean Peninsula just last month.


“We’re sending an armada,” President Trump said 10 days ago.


On Wednesday, the South Korean Defense Ministry declined to comment, other than to say that the United States and South Korea do not discuss the details of their joint strategy to deter North Korean provocations.


But critics accused the ministry of fanning jitters among South Koreans before a May 9 presidential election in which North Korea’s behavior has been a central issue — as have Seoul’s close military ties to Washington.


“There is no way for South Korea not to have known that the Carl Vinson would not be in Korean waters last Saturday,” said Kim Dong-yub, a former navy officer and defense analyst at the Institute for Far Eastern Studies at Kyungnam University in Seoul. “Still, they kept mum, doing nothing to ease the anxiety when security was a key election issue.”

“韩国不可能不知道卡尔文森号上周六不会出现在朝鲜半岛水域,”金东烨(Kim Dong-yub,音)说,他是前海军军官,现任首尔庆南大学(Kyungnam University)远东研究所的国防分析师。“尽管如此,他们一言不发,在安全是大选的一个主要问题时,不采取任何措施来缓解社会上的焦虑。”

“What they did was nothing short of trying to influence the election,” Mr. Kim said. “The whole episode is a reminder of how fettered South Korea remains to its alliance with the United States.”


Shin In-kyun, a military expert who runs the civic group Korea Defense Network, said that Mr. Trump appeared to have used the Carl Vinson as a feint aimed at preventing North Korea from conducting a nuclear test.

公民组织韩国防卫网(Korea Defense Network)运营者、军事专家申尹均(Shin In-kyun,音)说,为了防止朝鲜进行核试验,特朗普似乎用卡尔文森号虚晃了一招。

“It would have been very awkward for the South Korean military to come out and clarify when they knew that Trump was bluffing,” Mr. Shin said. “The bluffing worked, in fact. North Korea didn’t do a nuclear test last Saturday.”


Coupled with Mr. Trump’s order to strike a Syrian air base with dozens of missiles, and repeated warnings from his senior aides that “military options” were not off the table in dealing with North Korea, news of the Carl Vinson rushing back to Korean waters stirred anxiety in South Korea.


The fear was that if North Korea were to conduct a nuclear or long-range missile test on Saturday to commemorate the 105th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sung, the North’s founding president and the grandfather of Kim Jong-un, the Carl Vinson would be in Korean waters by then to launch a pre-emptive strike.


North Korea, never one to be outdone in tough talk, accused the United States of bringing war to Korea and vowed to respond with nuclear attacks at American military bases in South Korea and Japan. This week, it unveiled a video depicting its missiles engulfing an American city in flames, shown as a backdrop for the Kim Il-sung celebration.


In South Korea, all major candidates for the presidential election issued statements warning that a pre-emptive American strike would set off a full-scale war on the Korean Peninsula. They intensified their bickering over who was best suited to keep the peace on the peninsula.


Kim Ky-baek, who runs the nationalist South Korean website Minjokcorea, expressed fears that the Carl Vinson episode would damage Mr. Trump’s credibility among South Koreans.

民族主义的韩国网站Minjokcorea的运营人金箕白(Kim Ky-baek,音)对卡尔文森号一事表示担心,认为这会损害特朗普在韩国的信誉。

“Trump may say this was part of his smoke-screen tactic,” he said. “But the impression we get is that the Trump administration still doesn’t know what it is really trying to do with North Korea, and has no clear and efficient line of communication.”


When the chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga, the Japanese government spokesman, was asked about the issue at his daily news briefing on Wednesday, he declined to address the misreported itinerary directly.


“It’s an operational matter for the United States military,” he said.


But Hideshi Takesada, a professor at the Institute of World Studies at Takushoku University in Japan, said it was inconceivable that the Japanese military was unaware of plans for the Carl Vinson’s deployment.


“When it comes to matters that concern Japan, the two militaries communicate essentially in real time,” he said.


By allowing misconceptions about the strike group’s location to persist, he added, the Trump administration had ratcheted up pressure on North Korea. Officials in Tokyo effectively cooperated by not speaking out.


“Whatever the case, whether it was deliberate misinformation or a miscommunication between the Pentagon and the White House, it’s quite serious,” said Narushige Michishita, a specialist in international security at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo. “It undermines the credibility of U.S. leadership.”


The United States continues to adopt a muscular posture toward North Korea, however, with Vice President Mike Pence promising during a visit to Japan on Wednesday that Washington would give an “overwhelming and effective” response to the use of conventional or nuclear weapons.

但是,美国仍在对朝鲜采取强硬态度,副总统迈克·彭斯(Mike Pence)周三访日本时承诺,华盛顿对使用常规武器或核武器将给予“压倒性的有效”回应。

The Carl Vinson is now actually headed to the Korean Peninsula and is expected to arrive in the region next week, Pentagon officials say. April 25 is another major anniversary in North Korea, the birthday of the Korean People’s Army, and some analysts say the North might try to celebrate with a major provocation.


In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Rear Adm. James W. Kilby, commander of the Carl Vinson carrier strike group, said its deployment “has been extended 30 days to provide a persistent presence in the waters off the Korean Peninsula.”

卡尔文森号航空母舰打击编队的指挥官詹姆斯·W·基尔比(James W. Kilby)周三在Facebook上发文表示,编队的调动期“已延长了30天,以在朝鲜半岛水域继续执行任务”。