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12年后再访朝鲜,但闻战鼓擂

更新时间:2017-10-10 12:37:35 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Inside North Korea, and Feeling the Drums of War
12年后再访朝鲜,但闻战鼓擂

PYONGYANG, North Korea — To fly into North Korea on an old Russian aircraft is to step into an alternate universe, one in which “the Supreme Leader” defeats craven American imperialists, in which triplets are taken from parents to be raised by the state, in which nuclear war is imminent but survivable — and in which there is zero sympathy for American detainees like Otto Warmbier.

朝鲜平壤——搭乘一架老旧的俄罗斯飞机飞到朝鲜,就像进入了另一个世界。在这里,“最高领导人”能打败怯懦的美帝国主义者;三胞胎被带离父母,由国家抚养;核战争一触即发但不是撑不过去——以及对奥托·瓦姆比尔(Otto Warmbier)等被拘押的美国人没有丝毫同情。

Warmbier was the University of Virginia student who was arrested for stealing a poster, then sentenced to 15 years of hard labor and eventually returned to the U.S. in a vegetative state.

瓦姆比尔是弗吉尼亚大学(University of Virginia)的学生,因窃取宣传海报而被逮捕,之后被判15年劳改,最终回到美国时已是植物人状态。

“He broke the law in our country,” said Ri Yong-pil, a senior Foreign Ministry official, adding that Warmbier was returned (a week before his death) as a “humanitarian” act. Another senior ministry official, Choe Kang-il, insisted that North Korea had provided excellent care and spent “all the money for nursing” him.

“他违反了我们国家的法律,”朝鲜外交部高级官员李容弼(Ri Yong-pil)说。他还表示,(在去世前一周)把瓦姆比尔送回美国是“人道主义”行为。另一名外交部高级官员崔康日(Choe Kang-il,音)坚称,朝鲜精心照顾他,花了“很多钱护理”他。

Something in me snapped. I asked how North Koreans could possibly boast about their spending on a young man when he was in a coma only because of them. Choe replied just as hotly that Warmbier had not been mistreated and was in fine condition when he was sent back home.

我再也无法控制情绪。我问道:朝鲜人怎么可以吹嘘自己在这个年轻人身上的花费,因为他陷入昏迷完全是因为他们。崔康日同样激动地回复说,瓦姆比尔没有遭到虐待,送回国时,他状态良好。

“The U.S. administration, or some people with a certain intention, let him die,” Choe said. “This must be intended to foster and spread anti-Communist hatred within America.”

“美国政府,或者某些别有用心的人,让他死了,”崔康日说。“应该是为了在美国煽动和散布反共仇恨。”

Officials offered no apology and gave no ground, reflecting a hard line toward the United States that I found everywhere on this visit; Choe derided President Trump as “a crazy man,” “a thug” and “a pathetic man with a big mouth.” I’ve been covering North Korea on and off since the 1980s, and this five-day trip has left me more alarmed than ever about the risks of a catastrophic confrontation.

朝鲜官员们没有表示任何歉意,也没有做出任何让步,反映了对美国的强硬态度,这种态度在这次旅行中随处可见。崔康日嘲笑特朗普总统是“疯子”、“暴徒”、“爱说大话的可怜虫”。我从20世纪80年代起断断续续报道朝鲜,而这五天的旅行,让我比以往任何时候都更担心会出现毁灭性冲突。

I was given a visa to North Korea, as were three other New York Times journalists. The U.S. State Department promptly gave us an exemption from the travel ban to North Korea and issued special passports good for a single trip here.

我和另外三位《纽约时报》的记者获得了去朝鲜的签证。美国国务院很快给了朝鲜旅行禁令豁免,给我们签发了特殊的单次旅行护照。

Far more than when I previously visited, North Korea is galvanizing its people to expect a nuclear war with the United States. High school students march in the streets in military uniform every day to denounce America. Posters and billboards along the public roads show missiles destroying the U.S. Capitol and shredding the American flag. In fact, images of missiles are everywhere — in a kindergarten playground, at a dolphin show, on state television. This military mobilization is accompanied by the ubiquitous assumption that North Korea could not only survive a nuclear conflict, but also win it.

与我之前进行的访问相比,目前朝鲜在以更大力度鼓励民众期待与美国进行一场核战。高中生每天穿着军装在街上游行,谴责美国。公路两侧的海报和招牌展示着导弹摧毁美国国会、撕碎美国国旗的画面。实际上,导弹画面随处可见——在幼儿园的游乐场里,在海豚表演中,在国家电视台上。这种军事动员伴随着一种普遍看法:朝鲜不仅能在核战中存活下来,而且能打败美国。

“If we have to go to war, we won’t hesitate to totally destroy the United States,” explained Mun Hyok-myong, a 38-year-old teacher visiting an amusement park.

“如果我们必须开战,我们会毫不犹豫地彻底毁灭美国,”在游乐场游玩的38岁教师文赫明(Mun Hyok-myong,音)说。

Ryang Song-chol, a 41-year-old factory worker, looked surprised when I asked if his country could survive a war with America. “We would certainly win,” he said.

当我询问41岁的工厂工人梁松哲(Ryang Song-chol,音),他的国家是否能在与美国的战争中存活下来时,他显得非常惊讶。“我们当然会赢,”他说。

These interviews were conducted in the presence of two Foreign Ministry officials, but even if they weren’t, there is no chance that ordinary people would speak freely to a foreign reporter. This is perhaps the most tightly controlled country in the world, so such quotes should be seen as reflecting a government script — in this case, a disturbingly jingoistic one.

进行这些采访时,两名朝鲜外交部官员在场;但就算他们不在场,普通朝鲜人也绝不会与外国记者自由交谈。朝鲜可能是世界上控制最严密的国家,所以这些引语应该可以当做是政府意志的反映——非常令人不安的沙文主义立场。

On past trips (my last was in 2005), we journalists stayed at hotels in the capital and were free to walk around on our own, but this time the Foreign Ministry housed us at its own guarded Kobangsan Guest House east of the capital. At first I thought this was simply to restrict us, but increasingly I saw signs of something more interesting and menacing: The Foreign Ministry was also protecting us from hard-liners in the military or in the security services.

在过去的旅行中(上一次是在2005年),我们记者待在首都的酒店里,可以自由地独自四处走动,但这次朝鲜外交部让我们住在首都东部他们自己守卫的库房山宾馆。最初,我以为这只是为了限制我们,但我慢慢看到了一些更值得注意、更险恶的迹象:朝鲜外交部也是在保护我们免受军队或安全部门强硬派的伤害。

“Someone might hear you are from America,” and there could be trouble, one official explained.

一名官员说,“有些人可能听说你们是从美国来的”,那可能会招来麻烦。

Hard-liners seem to have gained greater power this year, especially after Trump’s threat to “totally destroy” North Korea, and we were told that military officers sometimes mock their own country’s diplomats for being wimpish “American cronies.”

今年,强硬派似乎获得了更大的权力,尤其是在特朗普威胁“彻底毁灭”朝鲜之后,我们被告知,军方官员有时嘲笑自己国家的外交人员是懦弱的“美国密友”。

Foreign Ministry officials escorted us every time we left the compound, probably both to keep us out of mischief and to protect us from the security agencies.

每次我们离开住地,外交部官员都护送我们,很可能既是为了防止我们搞小动作,也是为了提防安全部门。

Yes, all this has been a little discomfiting.

是的,所有这些令人有些不安。

The upshot is that I have felt more constraint than on past visits to North Korea, and considerably more tension. Before, I had been able to see senior generals, but this time the military flatly refused to consider my interview requests. The security forces also refused my request to meet the three Americans whom they still detain, one for two years now, without consular access.

结果,与之前的朝鲜旅行相比,这次我感到了更多限制,以及更多压力。以前,我还能见到高级将领;但这一次,军队完全拒绝考虑我们的采访请求。安全部队也拒绝让我们会见依然在押的三名美国人——其中一人到现在已经关押了两年——且不允许领事介入。

A basic problem is that hard-liners seem ascendant in both Washington and Pyongyang.

一个根本问题是,不管是在华盛顿还是在平壤,强硬派都处于上升态势。

In Washington, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is advocating a diplomatic resolution to conflict with North Korea — but Trump undercut him on Twitter last Sunday and said Tillerson was “wasting his time.” Trump’s policy toward North Korea is founded on false assumptions that the Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un, will give up his nuclear weapons, that China can save the day and that military options are real.

在华盛顿,国务卿雷克斯·蒂勒森(Rex Tillerson)支持通过外交手段解决与朝鲜的冲突,但特朗普上周日在Twitter上对此进行了打压,称蒂勒森是在“浪费时间”。特朗普的对朝政策基于一些错误的认识:最高领导人金正恩(Kim Jong-un)将放弃核武器;中国可以挽救局势;军事打击是一个切实可行的选项。

In Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital, which is full of wide streets and monumental buildings, officials also express little interest in the kind of tough compromises that would be necessary to resolve the crisis.

在朝鲜首都平壤——这里处处是宽阔的街道和高耸的大楼——官员们也没有对那种巨大妥协表现出任何兴趣,但对解决危机来说,那些妥协是必需的。

“The situation on the Korean Peninsula is on the eve of the breakout of nuclear war,” Choe, the Foreign Ministry official, told me. “We can survive” such a war, he added, and he and other officials said that it was not the right time for talks with the U.S.

“朝鲜半岛处于核战爆发的前夕,”朝鲜外交部官员崔康日对我说。他还说,“我们能在这样一场战争中活下来”,他和其他官员表示,现在不是与美国谈判的好时机。

The North Koreans insist that the U.S. make the first move and drop its sanctions and “hostile attitude” — which won’t happen. And the U.S. is equally unrealistic in insisting that North Korea give up its entire nuclear program.

朝鲜人坚持认为,美国应该迈出妥协的第一步,放弃制裁和“敌对态度”——那是不可能的。而美国也同样不切实际地坚持认为,朝鲜应该完全放弃自己的核计划。

I told Choe that my visit gave me a sense of déjà vu, reminding me of a trip to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq on the eve of the American invasion. The difference is that a war here would be not just a regional disaster but a nuclear cataclysm.

我对崔康日说,这次旅行给我一种似曾相识的感觉,让我想起了美国进攻前夕我对萨达姆·侯赛因(Saddam Hussein)治下的伊拉克的一次访问。不同之处在于,这里的战争将不只是一场地区灾难,而是一场核灾变。

Choe was unimpressed by my warning. He said that Iraq and Libya had made the mistake of giving up their nuclear programs; in each case, America then ousted the regime. He added that the lesson was obvious, so North Korea will never negotiate away its nuclear warheads.

我的警告对崔康日没什么效果。他说,伊拉克和利比亚都犯了一个错误,那就是放弃了自己的核计划,所以美国才推翻了它们。他还说,这个教训很明显,所以朝鲜永远不会放弃自己的核弹头。

Still, for all the shadow of possible war, North Korea has had some positive changes. The famine is over (although malnutrition still leaves one in four children stunted), the economy has developed and government officials are far more open and savvy than a generation ago.

不过,尽管笼罩在可能发生战争的阴影下,朝鲜还是发生了一些正面变化。饥荒结束了(虽然营养不良依然妨碍四分之一儿童的正常发育),经济发展了,政府官员比二三十年前更加开放、更有知识。

Officials used to deny that there was ever any crime in North Korea — but now they freely concede that this country has thieves, that young women sometimes become pregnant before marriage, that inevitably there’s a measure of corruption. (They do deny that North Korea has any gay people.)

官员们过去否认朝鲜有犯罪行为,但现在他们坦然承认这个国家有小偷;有些年轻女子未婚先孕;不可避免地存在一定程度的腐败。(他们否认朝鲜有同性恋。)

North Korea is no longer hermetically sealed, and South Korean pop music and soap operas are smuggled in on flash drives and DVDs from China (watching them is a serious criminal offense). There is also an intranet — a rigidly controlled domestic version of the internet — and students learn English from about the third grade. At the best schools, like Pyongyang No. 1 Secondary School, the students are extraordinarily bright and they conversed with us in fluent English, with far more sophistication than on my first visit to the same school in 1989.

朝鲜不再完全与世隔绝,韩国流行音乐和肥皂剧通过闪存盘和DVD从中国偷运入境(观看此类内容属于严重犯罪行为)。这里有内联网——受到严格控制的互联网的国内版本——学生们大约从三年级开始学英语。在最好的学校,比如平壤第一中学,那里的学生非常聪明,可以用流利的英语与我们交谈,谈话内容比我1989年去同一所学校第一次访问时要复杂得多。

Yet this is still North Korea. I asked these kids if they had ever heard of Beyoncé or the Beatles; none had. I asked if they had heard of Facebook. One had, because computer software sometimes referred to it, but he didn’t know what it was.

不过,这里依然是朝鲜。我问这些孩子是否听说过碧昂斯(Beyoncé)或披头士(Beatles),他们都没听说过。我问他们是否听说过Facebook。有一个孩子听说过,因为电脑软件有时会提到它,但他不知道那是什么。

Radios or televisions that might get foreign broadcasts are illegal, and there is no access to the internet except for foreigners and senior officials. When I arrived at the airport, my luggage was closely searched for pernicious publications, and even my phone was examined.

可以接收外国广播的电台或电视台是违法的;除了外国人和高级官员,其他人无法连接互联网。到机场时,我的行李被仔细检查,搜查有害出版物,甚至连我的手机都被检查。

“Who’s this person,” the customs official asked suspiciously when she saw an Asian woman appear frequently in my photos.

“这个人是谁,”看到我的手机里频繁出现一名亚洲女子的照片,那名海关官员怀疑地问道。

“My wife,” I explained.

“我妻子,”我说。

“Oh,” she said, deflated. “She’s pretty.”

“哦,”她尴尬地说。“她很漂亮。”

Each home or village has a speaker, a link from Big Brother, that drums in propaganda each morning. Religion and civil society are not allowed. Government controls frayed during the terrible famine of the 1990s, when perhaps 10 percent of the population died, but the controls have returned with the economic recovery. This is the most totalitarian state in the history of the world, because it has computers, closed-circuit cameras, mobile phones and other monitoring technologies that Stalin could only have dreamed of.

每个家庭或村庄都有一个喇叭——它是与“老大哥”的联系——每天早晨播放政治宣传。不允许设立宗教和社会团体。20世纪90年代发生可怕的饥荒时期,政府的控制减弱了,当时约有10%的人口死亡,但是随着经济复苏,控制又加强了。这是世界历史上极权程度最高的国家,因为它有电脑、闭路摄像头和手机等监视技术,这些都是斯大林无法奢望的。

North Korea is also sometimes simply weird. Triplets are taken from their parents and raised by the state because they are considered auspicious. The personality cult is unyielding, with every adult wearing pins of “the Great Leader,” Kim Il-sung, who died in 1994, or his son, “the Dear Leader,” Kim Jong-il, who died in 2011, and their portraits are in every home, every factory, every classroom.

朝鲜有时也很奇怪。三胞胎被从父母身边带走,由国家抚养,因为这些人被认为比较有前途。个人崇拜依然强烈,每个成年人都戴着“伟大领袖”金日成(1994年去世)的像章,或者他的儿子、“亲爱的领袖”金正日(2011年去世)的像章,每个家庭、每个工厂和每个教室都有他们的肖像。

Every year, people die trying to rescue the Kim portraits from house fires (whether because of genuine loyalty or to win credit with the authorities), and now this Confucian-style reverence is directed to Kim Jong-un, 33, the scion of the dynasty. His name means “just and merciful,” and the state media are worshipful about his “brilliant intelligence, military acumen, matchless courage and outstanding art of command,” as one publication put it.

每年都有人因试图从房屋火灾中抢救金氏领袖的肖像而丧生(无论是出于真正的忠诚还是为了赢得当局的赞誉),现在这种儒家式的崇敬被引向金氏王朝的继承人,33岁的金正恩。他名字的意思是“公正和恩慈”,如一份出版物中所说,国家媒体颂扬他的“聪明智慧、军事才干、无畏勇气与杰出的指挥艺术”。

Do people really believe this stuff?

人们真的相信这些吗?

I’ve interviewed countless defectors over the years, and they say that there’s more disenchantment among the youth and in the China border area, where Koreans realize that their country has been left behind. But the defectors add that many North Koreans, especially older ones and those distant from the China border, genuinely believe in the system and worship the Kim family — because they know nothing else.

多年来,我采访了无数的脱北者,他们说在年轻人和在中国边境地区生活的人们当中有更多的失望情绪,朝鲜人意识到自己的国家被遗弃了。但是,脱北者们也说,许多朝鲜人,特别是老年人和远离朝中边境的人真心相信这一体制,崇拜金氏家族,因为他们不知道其它任何事情。

“Much of the older generation still remains loyal to the regime,” agreed Jieun Baek, author of a recent book on how information reaches North Koreans. Attitudes are changing among younger people and those involved in the market economy, she said, but she doesn’t foresee a grass-roots uprising any time soon.

“大多数老一辈人仍然忠于这个政权,”白枝恩(Jieun Baek)说,她最近刚刚创作了一本关于信息如何到达朝鲜的著作。她认为,年轻人和参与市场经济者的态度正在发生变化,但她不认为短期内会发生底层人民的起义。

What makes this moment so perilous is that North Koreans are steeped in the idea that they have repeatedly defeated the U.S. — and can do so again. Every single person we spoke to, from officials to students, voiced certainty that if war breaks out, America will end up in ashes and the Kim regime will emerge victorious.

目前之所以格外危险,是因为朝鲜人深信他们曾经多次打败美国——而且可以再次做到。从官员到学生,我们走访的每一个人都肯定地说,如果战争爆发,美国将会灰飞烟灭,金氏政权则会取得胜利。

“U.S. pride will be squished,” predicted Jo Yong-myong, a 20-year-old university student, who thinks war is likely. “The big nose of the U.S. will be cut off.”

“美国将会颜面扫地,“20岁的大学生赵永明(Jo Yong-myong,音)说,他认为战争很有可能发生。“美国的大鼻子会被切掉。”

Maybe Kim himself isn’t so recklessly overconfident. But historically, one risk is that dictators come to believe their own propaganda.

也许金正恩本人并没有这样的鲁莽和过度自信。但在历史上,独裁者渐渐相信自己的宣传是有可能的。

For a glimpse of the state narrative, I visited the huge new museum in Pyongyang that Kim built for the Korean War. It flatly asserts the standard North Korean line that American imperialists started the war in 1950 by invading the North, rather than (as historians say) that the North started it by sending soldiers into South Korea, and it says that American atrocities in Korea were worse than those of Hitler. “They killed Korean people for their pleasure,” First Lt. Jang Un-hye, 24, our military guide in the museum, told me as she led me by an exhibit devoted to American use of biological weapons in the war (most historians say this is a fabrication).

为了一窥朝鲜的国家叙事,我参观了金氏家族在平壤为朝鲜战争新建的大型博物馆。它断然主张朝鲜的一贯说法:美帝国主义者在1950年入侵朝鲜,从而挑起了这场战争;而不是(如历史学家所说的那样):朝鲜率先出兵韩国,从而挑起战争。该博物馆还表示,美国在朝韩的暴行更胜希特勒一筹。“他们以杀戮朝鲜人民为乐”,博物馆的军人导览、24岁的张恩惠中尉(Jang Un-hye,音)告诉我,她带着我参观了一个专门陈列美国在战争中所用生物武器的展览(大多数历史学家都说这是谎言)。

One hall in the war museum, called “Defeat of the U.S.,” showed a huge diorama with an American soldier’s corpse being picked at by crows, with the sound of their caws filling the room.

战争博物馆有个展厅名为“美国的失败”,其中有一个巨大的仿真模型,一个美国士兵的尸体被乌鸦啄食,呱呱的叫声回响在整个房间。

Next to the museum is the Pueblo, the American Navy ship seized by North Korea in 1968 — another victory by the Korean People’s Army over the American imperialists! At the border with South Korea is a museum displaying the ax used to kill two American soldiers there in 1976, also presented as a triumph.

博物馆旁边是1968年被朝鲜俘获的美国海军船只普韦布洛号(Pueblo),这是朝鲜人民军对美帝国主义者的又一次胜利!朝韩边境附近还有一个博物馆里陈列着一把斧子,1976年,它曾在那里被用来杀死两名美国士兵,这也象征着一次胜利。

Somehow for all the official hostility, North Koreans tend to be friendly to individual Americans. At the new science and technology tower in Pyongyang, I met a 13-year-old boy, Paek Sin-hyok, who daily participates in military parades at his middle school to mobilize for war. It was his first time meeting Americans, and he said his heart was thumping. I asked about the common North Korean expression that “just as a wolf cannot become a lamb, so an American imperialist can never change his aggressive nature.”

不知何故,尽管官方对美国怀有这样的敌意,朝鲜人对个体的美国人却往往非常友善。在平壤的新科技楼,我遇到13岁的白新赫(Paek Sin-hyok,音),他们在中学里每天都要参加为战争动员而举行的军事游行。这是他第一次见到美国人,他说自己的心都在砰砰跳。我问起一个朝鲜俗语:“豺狼不会变成羔羊,美帝国主义侵略本性永远不改。”

“What about us?” I asked him. “Are we wolves? Or lambs?”

“我们呢?”我问他。“我们是豺狼还是羔羊?”

He struggled with how to answer that politely. “Half and half,” he said.

他尽可能礼貌地回答,“一半一半。”

With this mutual distrust, it’s easy to see how things might go wrong. I suspect North Korea is rational and cares about self-preservation, and I don’t believe that it would fire off a nuclear missile at Guam or Los Angeles just for the thrill. But a dogfight between a North Korean and an American plane could cause a crisis that escalates. Or Trump could order an airstrike on a North Korean missile during fueling on the launchpad — and that, every North Korean official said, would lead to war.

由于这种相互之间的不信任,很容易看出,事态有可能走向恶化。我推测朝鲜是理性的,更关注自我保护;我不相信它会出于一时冲动,向关岛或洛杉矶发射核弹。但一架朝鲜飞机与一架美国飞机的格斗,就可以导致危机升级。又或者如果一枚朝鲜导弹在发射台上待命期间,特朗普对其发动空袭——所有朝鲜官员都说这会导致战争。

Both sides are on a hair trigger. That’s why in war games, conflicts quickly escalate — and why the American military estimated back in 1994 that another Korean war would cause one million casualties and $1 trillion in damage. Today, with the possibility of an exchange of nuclear weapons, the toll could be far greater: One recent study suggested that if North Korea detonated nuclear weapons over Tokyo and Seoul, deaths in those two cities alone could exceed two million.

双方都处在一触即发的状态。这就是为什么在兵棋推演中,冲突升级是很快的——也是为什么美国军方在1994年曾做出估计,如果再来一次朝鲜战争,将会造成一百万人的伤亡和一万亿美元的损失。今天,由于双方有可能互相发射核武器,损失可能会远远大得多:最近的一项研究表明,如果朝鲜向东京和首尔发射核武器,这两个城市的死亡人数有可能超过200万。

My sense is that both sides are fearful of appearing weak and are trying to intimidate the other with military bluster, but that each would prefer a peaceful resolution — yet doesn’t know how to get there politically. So how do we get out of this mess?

我的意思是,双方都害怕示弱,都试图用军事恫吓来威胁对方,但双方都更愿意采取和平解决方案——然而尚不知道如何通过政治手段达成这一方案。那么我们要如何摆脱这种混乱局面呢?

First, Trump should stop personalizing and escalating the conflict. Second, we need talks without conditions, if only talks about talks: I’d suggest a secret visit to Pyongyang by a senior administration official, as well as discussions with North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations. Third, human rights have to be part of the agenda, backed by the threat of suspending North Korea’s credentials at the United Nations. Fourth, we should support organizations that smuggle information on USB drives into North Korea; this would be cheap and might contribute to change in the long term. Fifth, increase cyberwarfare, which the U.S. has already used effectively against North Korea. Sixth, let’s enforce tighter sanctions, but only if harnessed to a plausible outcome.

首先,特朗普应该停止将冲突变得个人化,并使之进一步升级;第二,我们需要无条件会谈,就算只是关于会谈的会谈也好:我建议由一名高级行政官员对平壤进行秘密访问,并与朝鲜驻联合国大使进行讨论;第三,人权必须成为议程的一部分,并以暂停朝鲜的联合国全权证书为威胁;第四,我们应该支持将信息装在U盘中偷运到朝鲜的组织,这会是便宜而又有可能有助于长期变化的举措;第五,增加网络战争,这在美国对付朝鲜的斗争中已经行之有效;第六,强制执行更严格的制裁措施,但只有在能获得合理结果的情况下才能实施。

Ultimately, the best hope that is realistic may be a variant of what’s called a “freeze for a freeze,” with North Korea halting its nuclear and missile tests in exchange for a reduction in sanctions and in U.S.-South Korean military exercises — as an interim step, preserving the long-term goal of denuclearization. Unfortunately, both sides resist this approach; I was disappointed in the lack of North Korean interest.

最终,现实的最佳结果可能是所谓“冻结换冻结”的变体,朝鲜停止核试验与导弹试验,以换取缩减制裁和缩减美韩军事演习——以此作为过渡步骤,保持实现无核化的长期目标。不幸的是,双方都抗拒这种做法;朝鲜对此缺乏兴趣令我感到失望。

So if we can’t work out a freeze for a freeze, realistically the next best option is to settle into long-term mutual deterrence. But that would be risky, not least because we have an American president and a North Korean leader who both seem impetuous, overconfident and temperamentally inclined to escalate any dispute — and the American mainland increasingly will be in the cross hairs of North Korean nuclear warheads.

所以如果我们不能以冻结换冻结,下一个切合实际的最好选择是造成长期的相互威慑。但这样做是有风险的,尤其是因为我们的美国总统和朝鲜领导人看上去都很鲁莽、过分自信,从性格上而言倾向于升级任何争端——而美国大陆上能够成为朝鲜核弹头靶子的地方会愈来愈多。

I leave North Korea with the same sense of foreboding that I felt after leaving Saddam’s Iraq in 2002. War is preventable, but I’m not sure it will be prevented.

离开朝鲜时,我的预感同2002年离开萨达姆统治下的伊拉克之时是一样的。战争是可以避免的,但我不知道它究竟会不会得到避免。

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