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朝鲜若进行大气层核试验,究竟有多危险?

更新时间:2017-9-25 18:54:32 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Prospect of Atmospheric Nuclear Test by North Korea Raises Specter of Danger
朝鲜若进行大气层核试验,究竟有多危险?

WASHINGTON — If North Korea follows through on its threat to conduct an atmospheric nuclear test, it would be a far more dangerous step than anything Kim Jong-un, its leader, has attempted — and poses a host of hard decisions for the Trump administration because attempting to stop the test could be as dangerous as letting it go ahead.

华盛顿——如果朝鲜兑现进行一次大气层核试验的威胁,其危险性可能比该国领导人金正恩(Kim Jong-un)尝试过的任何举动都大得多,并让特朗普政府面临大量难以取舍的决定,因为尝试阻止这场试验和放任试验进行一样危险。

All six of the North’s nuclear tests have been underground, containing the radioactive fallout. But an atmospheric test — perhaps with a warhead shot over the Pacific on a North Korean missile, or set off from a ship or barge — would put the populations below at the mercy of the North’s accuracy and at the winds that sweep up the radioactive cloud.

朝鲜的六次核试验都是在地下进行的,控制住了放射性沉降物。但大气层试验——也许是在朝鲜的导弹上搭载弹头,发射到太平洋上空,或是从舰船或驳船上发射——把下方民众的命运交给了朝鲜的精确度和翻滚放射云的大风。

That is why the United States and the Soviet Union banned such tests in their first nuclear test-ban treaty, more than a half-century ago.

这正是美国和苏联在半个多世纪前首次签订禁止核试验条约时,禁止进行这类试验的原因。

It is exactly that fear of an environmental or humanitarian calamity that Mr. Kim appears eager to foster as he looks for ways to strike back at the United States, Japan and others seeking to choke off his money and trade. But experts who have been through the uncertainties of nuclear testing say there are risks all around, for Mr. Kim as well as his foes.

在想办法回击美国、日本和其他寻求切断其资金和贸易的国家时,金正恩似乎正想要急切地制造这种对环境或人道主义灾难的恐惧。但考虑了核试验的各种不确定性的专家表示,无论是对金正恩还是他的敌人,到处都有风险。

“It is not clear North Korea has that capability yet,’’ said Siegfried S. Hecker, the former director of Los Alamos National Laboratory and the nuclear weapons expert the North Koreans let in to see their uranium enrichment plants years ago, when they wanted to make clear to the Obama administration that their atomic weapons program was moving ahead, unimpeded by sanctions.

“尚不清楚朝鲜是否具备了这个能力,”前洛斯阿拉莫斯国家实验室(Los Alamos National Laboratory)主任西格弗里德·S·赫克(Siegfried S. Hecker)说道。数年前,朝鲜想向奥巴马政府清楚地表明其核武器计划仍在向前推进,未受制裁的阻碍,故允许核武器专家赫克前去参观他们的铀浓缩工厂。

“Besides,” said Dr. Hecker, now a professor at Stanford University, “a live missile test — one loaded with an H-bomb — poses enormous risk.” He recalled that when the United States performed such tests in the early days of the Cold War, “one blew up on the launchpad and one had to be destroyed right after launch, creating significant radioactive contamination.”

“此外,”现在是斯坦福大学教授的赫克说,“装载氢弹的实弹导弹试验,会带来巨大的风险。”他回忆了美国在冷战早期进行的这种试验。“一个在发射平台上爆炸,一个在发射后不得不立即销毁,造成了严重的放射性污染。”

The North Koreans have studied this history, too, according to current and former American intelligence officials. But the appeal of an atmospheric test is obvious: It would create a sense of fear that an explosion deep inside a tunnel in North Korea does not. The underground tests are detected on a Richter scale; an atmospheric test, like the kind the United States conducted at Bikini Atoll starting in 1948, creates a terrifying mushroom cloud.

据现任和前任美国情报官员称,朝鲜也研究过这段历史。但大气层试验的吸引力显而易见:它会制造一种恐惧感,这一点是在朝鲜地下深处的隧道里进行的地下试验所做不到的。地下试验可以监测到里氏震级;而像美国从1948年开始在比基尼环礁(Bikini Atoll)进行的那种大气层试验,会产生可怕的蘑菇云。

The largest of those, a 1954 test code-named Castle Bravo, turned out to be roughly three times larger than American bomb designers anticipated. They had made a mathematical miscalculation about the power of one of the nuclear fuels contained in the weapon, and the explosion spread radioactive material across the globe. Ultimately, Castle Bravo helped fuel the call for a ban on atmospheric tests.

其中最大的一次,是1954年代号为“喝彩城堡”(Castle Bravo)的试验。事实证明,那次试验几乎是美国炸弹设计者预想的三倍。他们对该武器含有的其中一种核燃料的威力进行的数学计算出现了错误,爆炸把放射性物质扩散到了全球。最终,“喝彩城堡”帮助推动了禁止进行大气层试验的呼吁。

No one knows what kind of test the North Koreans have in mind; the country’s foreign minister, Ri Yong Ho, did not specify when he raised the possibility when talking to reporters at the United Nations on Thursday. “This could probably mean the strongest hydrogen bomb test over the Pacific Ocean,” he said. “Regarding which measures to take, I don’t really know since it is what Kim Jong-un does.”

没有人知道朝鲜人在考虑什么样的核试验,朝鲜外相李勇浩(Ri Yong-ho)周四在联合国与记者交谈提到可能进行的核试验时没有细说。“这可能意味着太平洋上最强的氢弹试验,”他说。“关于采取什么步骤,我真的不知道,因为那是金正恩的事情。”

But the presumption is that if Mr. Kim decided to go ahead, the North would attempt to conduct the test by firing it on a missile, presumably to an empty spot in the Pacific. The goal would be to demonstrate that it had solved all the technological issues involved in delivering a nuclear weapon to an American city.

但是,假设金正恩决定继续这么做,朝鲜会尝试用导弹来进行测试,有可能是朝着太平洋的一块空旷地点试射。这么做的目标是证明它已经解决了向美国城市发射核武器所涉及的所有技术问题。

But that form of testing — putting a live weapon on a missile — is particularly risky.

但是这种形式的测试——把一个有效的核武器放在导弹上——是特别危险的。

“This would be a regional nightmare” for East Asia, said Heather Conley, a former senior State Department official, now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

对于东亚地区来说,“这将是该区域的一场噩梦,”国务院前高级官员、目前就职于华盛顿战略与国际研究中心的希瑟·康利(Heather Conley)表示。

It is possible the threat will never come to fruition. Detonating a weapon inside a missile warhead, or even from a ship or barge, would be far more difficult for the North than setting one off inside a mountain, where engineers have months to wire up the weapon, and no time pressure.

威胁可能永远不会兑现。对朝鲜来说,在导弹弹头内部,甚至从舰船或驳船上引爆一枚武器,要比在山体下面做这件事困难得多;在山里没有时间压力,工程师有几个月的时间来给核武器做准备。

It would require what experts call a “weaponized device” that could survive shocks, stresses and, if launched from a missile, the heat of re-entry into the atmosphere, something North Korea has never demonstrated it can handle.

这需要专家说的“武器化装置”,它可以承受很强的冲击力和压力,如果使用导弹来发射,还需要承受重返大气层的热量,朝鲜从未显示出他们可以办到这一点。

“The DPRK would be taking a big risk — missile tests fail,” said Philip E. Coyle III, a nuclear scientist and former head of the Pentagon’s weapons testing. The live nuclear warhead could come down on a neighboring country, or if the missile blew up on the launchpad — as has been known to happen — set off the nuclear warhead in North Korea.

“如果导弹试验失败,朝鲜将面临很大的风险,”五角大楼前武器试验负责人、核科学家菲利普·E·科伊尔三世(Philip E. Coyle III)说。有效弹头可能会落在邻国,或者就像之前发生过的那样,导弹在发射台上爆炸,在朝鲜境内引爆核弹头。

The transportation risks would be enormous, including the chance of an accidental detonation before the nuclear device reached the target zone. And while the world’s best missiles fail roughly once in every 100 flights, the failure rate for the North’s missiles is much higher. Last year, one type of missile failed seven out of eight times, perhaps in part because it had been targeted by a series of cyber attacks ordered by President Barack Obama. Since then, the North has ceased testing that type of missile and been more successful with others.

运载风险非常大,包括在核装置进入目标区之前意外起爆的风险。世界上最好的导弹每100次飞行中大约有一次会失败,而朝鲜导弹的失败率要高得多。去年,该国有一种类型的导弹在八次试射中失败了七次,也许部分原因是奥巴马总统下令采取的一系列网络攻击起了效果。此后,朝鲜已停止对这种类型的导弹进行测试,而其它类型的导弹测试则比较成功。

And even if one of the North’s missiles succeeded in lofting a nuclear weapon, the bigger challenge would be bringing it back down during the fiery re-entry. The heat, pressures and forces of deceleration are enormous. To date, evidence from the North’s test launches suggests it is still in the beginning stages of learning how to build a survivable warhead.

即使朝鲜的一枚导弹成功地将核武器发射到了外层空间,更大的挑战是安全地再入大气层。这个阶段要承受巨大的热量、压力和减速力。朝鲜迄今为止的试射证据表明,它仍处在学习如何制造可以经受这些考验的弹头的开始阶段。

It would be far easier for the North to entrust a nuclear weapon to a plane or a boat. But it has few with the long-range capability for the job, and the chances that the United States or its allies would detect it in transit are considerable.

把核武器用飞机或船运输对朝鲜而言更加容易一些。但是他们几乎没有可以开展远程攻击的飞机或船只,而且采取这种方式运载核武器被美国或其盟国发现的可能性相当大。

It would also break a taboo. It has been 37 years since any nation tested a nuclear weapon in the planet’s atmosphere. And given what is now known about the effects that radioactive fallout from such tests has on human health and the environment, one now would only intensify the international opprobrium Mr. Kim already faces.

大气层核试验还会打破禁忌。上一次有国家在地球大气层试验核武器已经是37年前的事情了。鉴于现在大家已经知道这种测试的放射性尘降物对人类健康和环境的影响,现在进行测试只会加剧金正恩已经面临的国际抨击。

According to one estimate by a physicians group opposed to nuclear weapons, 2.4 million people could die from cancer caused by the radioactivity from the more than 2,000 known tests that have already taken place.

根据一个反对核武器的医师团体估计,2000多次已知的核测试已经导致240万人可能因放射性污染而死于癌症。

The United States attempted a missile-launched nuclear test so only once — on May 6, 1962 — during a frenzy of Cold War tests. A submerged submarine, the Ethan Allen, fired a Polaris A-2 missile in the direction of Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. After traveling more than 1,200 miles, its warhead exploded at an altitude exceeding 10,000 feet.

美国只尝试过一次导弹发射核试验,那是在冷战核试验的狂潮期间——1962年5月6日。一艘已经下潜的潜艇艾伦·艾伦号(Ethan Allen)向印度洋的圣诞岛方向发射了一枚Polaris A-2导弹。在飞行了1200多英里(约合1950公里)后,弹头在高度超过1万英尺(约合3050米)的空中爆炸。

That test helped spur negotiations that ultimately led to a treaty banning tests in the atmosphere, outer space or underwater. It was in signed in 1963 by the United States, the Soviet Union and Britain.

那次测试促成了相关谈判,最终达成了禁止在大气层、外层空间或水下进行测试的条约。美国、苏联和英国在1963年签署了这个条约。

In 1996, a far broader agreement to ban all nuclear testing, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, was adopted at the United Nations and has been ratified by 166 states. The United States, China and North Korea are among the holdouts, along with Egypt, India, Israel, Iran and Pakistan.

1996年,联合国通过了禁止所有核试验的《全面禁止核试验条约》(Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty),这个条约涵盖的范围更加广泛,已在166个国家获得批准。除了埃及、印度、以色列、伊朗和巴基斯坦,美国、中国和朝鲜都没有签署该条约。

An effort by the Clinton administration to ratify the treaty failed; Mr. Obama promised to resubmit it for ratification but never did, fearing a second defeat. The United States and China have adhered to its restrictions, even if neither has ratified it.

克林顿政府批准该条约的努力失败了;奥巴马承诺重新提交批准,但由于担心再次失败,他没有真的兑现承诺。虽然美国和中国都没有批准这个条约,但两国也遵守了条约中的限制。

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