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解决朝鲜危机等于教一匹马唱歌

更新时间:2017-6-21 11:14:47 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Solving the Korea Crisis by Teaching a Horse to Sing
解决朝鲜危机等于教一匹马唱歌

Some stories have to be experienced to fully grasp — the Korea crisis is one of them. I arrived in Seoul on the evening of May 28. As I was dressing for breakfast the next morning, I was jarred by a news alert ringing on my phone: North Korea had just fired a short-range ballistic missile that had landed in the sea off its east coast.

有些事情必须亲身经历,才能完全理解——朝鲜危机就是其中之一。5月28日晚上,我到达首尔。第二天早上,我穿上衣服准备去吃早餐,手机响了一声,发来一条新闻提醒:朝鲜刚向东部海域发射了一枚短程弹道导弹。

I waited for the sirens to tell us to go to the hotel shelter, as happened when I was in Israel during a Hamas rocket attack. But there were no sirens. Nothing. The breakfast buffet was packed. The mood was: Another North Korean missile test? Oh, pay no attention to our crazy cousins. Could you pass the kimchi, please?

我等着警报响起,让我们去酒店的防空洞,在以色列的时候,哈马斯(Hamas)发动火箭弹袭击时就会那样。但是没有听到警报声。什么也没有。早餐自助餐已经摆好。人们的心情是:朝鲜又进行了一次导弹试验?哦,别管我们那些疯狂的堂表兄弟了。帮我把泡菜递过来好吗?

I was immediately reminded of my favorite quote from when I lived in Beirut during the Lebanese civil war, where people also became inured to the constant threat of violence. It was from a Beirut hostess who asked her dinner guests, “Would you like to eat now or wait for the cease-fire?”

我立刻想起黎巴嫩内战期间我住在贝鲁特时听到的一句最有意思的话。当时那里的人们也已经习惯了持续不断的武力威胁。说这句话的是贝鲁特的一位女主人,她问她的宴会客人:“你是想现在就吃还是等到停火以后?”

A few hours after the missile test, two U.S. B-1B Lancer strategic bombers out of Guam flew right up to the North’s border on what North Korea called “a nuclear bomb dropping drill.” No matter. The South Korean stock market didn’t flinch.

导弹试验之后数小时,两架美国B-1B枪骑兵战略轰炸机从关岛出发直飞朝鲜边境,进行朝鲜所称的“核炸弹投掷演习”。没关系。韩国股票市场并没有受挫。

In fact, one of the most popular housing markets for young Koreans today is Musan, located just south of the DMZ, the demilitarized zone separating the South from the North. It’s an easy commute to Seoul, and young people have gamed out that if the North launched rockets or artillery shells, they would likely go over their heads because they are so close to the border! Human beings! God love ’em. Their ability to adapt never ceases to amaze me.

实际上,如今年轻韩国人最喜欢的房地产市场是茂山,它就在把朝鲜和韩国隔开的非军事区以南。从那里去首尔上班很方便,年轻人还认为,如果朝鲜发射火箭或大炮,它们很可能会从他们头顶飞过,因为他们离边境很近。人类啊!上帝爱他们。他们的适应力不断让我刮目相看。

I interviewed a group of South Korean college students at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, and here’s what some said: “The fear has been diluted — as time goes by you just get used to it.” “We don’t really believe that North Korea can harm us or launch war, because we think we are stronger than them economically and militarily.” “We heard the G.D.P. gap between us and North Korea is 20 times, and we don’t want to pay more taxes to fix them up.” “When I went to the U.S. I freaked out [over] why people there care more about North Korea than me.”

我采访了峨山政策研究院(Asan Institute for Policy Studies)的一群韩国大学生,他们中的一些人这样说:“恐惧已经被稀释了——随着时间的推移,你已经适应了。”“我们并不真的认为,朝鲜能够伤害我们或发动战争,因为我们认为,我们从经济和军事上都比他们更强大。”“我们听说,我们和朝鲜之间的GDP差距有20倍,我们并不想多交税,来解决他们的问题。”“我去美国时,觉得十分惊讶,为什么那里的人比我还关心朝鲜。”

After a couple of days of such discussions, I realized that America is now the odd man out in this drama. Why? Because China and South Korea have one thing in common: The thing they fear most is not a North Korean nuclear missile blowing them up. It’s North Korea either blowing itself up — economically collapsing under the weight of sanctions — or being blown up by America.

在经过几天这样的讨论之后,我意识到,现在美国是这场戏中的异类。为什么?因为中国和韩国有一点共同之处:他们最担心的不是朝鲜用核弹轰炸他们。而是朝鲜把自己毁掉了——在制裁的重压下经济崩溃——或者遭到美国轰炸。

That would spill refugees and fissile material into China and South Korea, presenting both with a huge cleanup bill and China with a possible united Korea with a nuclear weapon next door.

那会导致难民和可裂变材料涌入中国和韩国,需要付出沉重的清理费,中国还担心身边出现一个拥有核武器的统一的朝鲜。

The U.S. — by contrast — now fears North Korea blowing us up, or at least Los Angeles. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Washington fears North Korea more than ever, while China and South Korea fear a unilateral U.S. strike on North Korea more than ever.

相形之下,美国现在担心朝鲜轰炸自己或者至少轰炸洛杉矶。可以毫不夸张地说,华盛顿现在比以往任何时候都更害怕朝鲜,而中国和韩国比以往任何时候都更担心美国单方面打击朝鲜。

Or, as Rob Litwak, the Wilson Center Korea arms control expert, described it: Seoul’s fear that Donald Trump could draw it into a catastrophic conflict on the Korean Peninsula “brings to mind Charles de Gaulle’s admonition during the Cuban missile crisis that being a U.S. ally ran the risk of ‘annihilation without representation.’”

或者,正如威尔逊中心(Wilson Center)朝鲜武器控制专家罗布·利特瓦克(Rob Litwak)所说:首尔担心唐纳德·特朗普把它拉入朝鲜半岛的灾难性冲突,这“让人想起了古巴导弹危机时夏尔·戴高乐的警告:作为美国的盟友,有可能‘被毁灭却无代表’”。

And that’s why the U.S. has dispatched to South Korea Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) antimissile batteries. But the new South Korean president is delaying their full deployment, fearing it will provoke the North or alienate China — which doesn’t like a U.S. antimissile system near its border that can also cover its airspace; China has imposed a partial economic boycott on Seoul to make that clear.

这就是为什么美国在韩国部署萨德(THAAD)反导弹系统。不过,韩国新总统在推迟它的全面部署,担心它会惹怒朝鲜或疏远中国——中国不喜欢美国在自己的边界上部署也可以覆盖自己领空的反导系统,中国通过对首尔进行局部经济抵制表明了这一点。

Chaibong Hahm, president of the Asan Institute, explained, “When North Korea started to develop weapons of mass destruction that threatened us, the U.S. tried to assure us and Japan that ‘we will protect you.’” Hahm said: “And the big question then was: ‘Is the U.S. deterrence real? Will it really protect us?’”

首尔峨山政策研究院院长咸在凤(Hahm Chaibong)解释称,“朝鲜开始开发威胁我们的大规模杀伤性武器时,美国试图让我们和日本放心,称‘我们会保护你们的’。”咸在凤说:“当时最大的问题是:‘美国的威慑是真的吗?它真的会保护我们吗?’”

But when North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un also started threatening the U.S. by building a long-range nuclear missile, the story shifted for America. “It was not about reassuring us anymore but its own people,” added Hahm, “which means that Washington does not have to consult us. It can do what it needs to do.” And Trump’s America-first rhetoric only amplifies the worry here that he will. Some people “are more scared of [Trump] than Kim Jong-un,” concluded Hahm. “Kim Jong-un they understand.”

但是当朝鲜独裁者金正恩也开始通过制造远程核弹威胁美国时,情况发生了变化。“它不再是让我们放心,而是让它自己的人民放心,”咸在凤说,“那意味着,华盛顿不必再咨询我们。它可以做自己需要做的事。”特朗普的“美国优先”言论更是增加了这种担忧。咸在凤还说,有些人“对特朗普的担忧多于对金正恩”,“他们了解金正恩”。

North Korea gets 95 percent of its oil from China. Beijing could shut down the North’s economy overnight by shutting off that oil. But it hasn’t. It has suspended purchases of North Korean coal, hurting Pyongyang financially, but not enough to stop missile testing. For now, it appears that China will do just enough to keep Trump at bay — by keeping North Korea from putting the last screws on a nuclear missile that can hit the U.S. — but never enough to collapse the regime or definitively end its nuclear program.

朝鲜95%的石油来自中国。北京可以通过切断石油供应在一夜之间瓦解朝鲜的经济。但它没有这样做。它暂停购买朝鲜的煤炭,从金融上打击平壤,但不足以阻止其进行导弹试验。目前看来,中国似乎只是想刚刚好够稳住特朗普就可以了——办法是让朝鲜距离可打击美国的核导弹只差最后一步——但永远不会瓦解朝鲜政权或一举终结它的核计划。

What about diplomacy? For now, North Korea shows no willingness to trade its nuclear arsenal for guarantees that the U.S. will not pursue regime change, and Trump is not going to give such guarantees without total denuclearization.

那么在外交方面呢?目前,朝鲜没有表露出愿意用核武器换取美国不再试图颠覆该政权的承诺,而特朗普也不会在彻底无核化之前给予这样的承诺。

In sum, China and South Korea don’t dare starve the North for fear it could collapse. They don’t dare shoot it for fear it could shoot back. They and the Americans don’t dare negotiate with Kim for fear that they will end up blessing his nukes — and because they don’t trust him to keep any deal. And they don’t dare ignore him, because he keeps getting stronger.

总之,中国和韩国不敢彻底让朝鲜断粮,担心它会崩溃。他们不敢攻击它,担心它会反击。他们和美国不敢与金正恩谈判,担心到头来这成了对他的核武器的认可,也因为他们不相信他会遵守任何协议。他们不敢忽视他,因为他正不断变得更强大。

So we all wait — for something.

所以我们都在等——等着发生什么事。

Indeed, the whole situation reminds me of the medieval fable of the criminal hauled before the king to plead for his life and successfully does so by promising that if the king spared his life for a year he could teach the king’s favorite horse to sing.

的确,这整个事件让我想起了一个中世纪寓言。一名罪犯被带到国王面前,请求饶命,他成功地做到了这一点,因为他承诺,如果国王让他再多活一年,他能教会国王最喜欢的马唱歌。

When the criminal got back to his cell, his cellmate scoffed at him: You could never teach the king’s horse to sing if you had a lifetime. And the man said: “No matter. I have a year now that I didn’t have before. And a lot of things can happen in a year. The king might die. The horse might die. I might die. And, who knows? Maybe the horse will sing.”

这名罪犯回到牢房后,牢友们都嘲笑他:就算给你一辈子时间,你也教不会国王的马唱歌。那人说:“没关系。反正现在我多了一年时间。这一年可能会发生很多事。国王可能会死。马可能会死。我也可能会死。谁知道呢?也许这匹马能学会唱歌呢。”

And that is our North Korea policy. Waiting for something to solve this insoluble problem. Waiting for a horse to sing.

这就是我们的朝鲜政策。在等待发生什么事来解决这个难以解决的问题。等一匹马唱歌。

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