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我为什么要去朝鲜?

更新时间:2017-10-18 13:25:43 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Why I Went to North Korea
我为什么要去朝鲜?

Since my five-day visit to North Korea recently, I’ve encountered pushback from critics who ask, “Why go?”

最近我对朝鲜进行了为期五天的访问,之后就遭到了一些批评人士的诘问:“为什么要去?”

First, they argue: You needlessly put yourself at risk and give Kim Jong-un a bargaining chip if he grabs you. The U.S. government shouldn’t have to worry about bone-headed journalists in enemy territory.

首先,他们认为:你不必要地把自己置于危险之中;如果被抓住,那就是给了金正恩一个讨价还价的筹码。不应该让美国政府去操心敌方领土上的呆瓜记者。

Second, they say: By going to North Korea, you simply become a mouthpiece for a country that you admit is the most totalitarian country in the history of the world. It’s a Potemkin country, and you become a “useful idiot” transmitting propaganda.

第二,他们说:你自己也承认朝鲜是世界历史上最极权的国家,去了那里,你就成为了它的喉舌。那是一个“波将金村庄”式的国家,你成了传播它宣传理念的“有用的白痴”。

Frankly, these are legitimate arguments. So let’s seize the moment for an honest discussion — and, in the process, let me offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse of reporting there.

坦率地说,这些观点也自有它们的道理。所以我们现在不妨来诚实地进行一番讨论,而在这个过程中,我也来讲讲在朝鲜做报道的幕后情况。

Getting a visa to North Korea is always tough, and my latest attempt involved long and delicate negotiations with North Korean diplomats — and with my wife. (That’s not a complaint: If she were eager for me to go to North Korea, I’d be worried.)

获得朝鲜签证向来不容易,我最近的这次申请经历了和朝鲜外交官之间——以及和我妻子之间——漫长而微妙的谈判。(这不是在抱怨:如果她对我去朝鲜很热心,那我就该担心了。)

Four of us from The Times obtained visas (stay tuned for a video we’re making from the trip), and then quickly received U.S. State Department approval, along with special U.S. passports valid for travel to North Korea.

《纽约时报》有四个人获得了签证(敬请关注我们正在制作的视频),然后迅速获得了国务院的批准,拿到了去朝鲜旅行的特殊美国护照。

The only way into North Korea is on daily flights from Beijing on creaky Russian planes. The in-flight entertainment is a video of a North Korean military orchestra playing classical music, interspersed with scenes of missiles being launched.

进入朝鲜的唯一方法就是从北京乘坐陈旧的俄罗斯飞机过去,每天都有航班。去的时候,机上娱乐活动是朝鲜军乐团演奏古典音乐的视频,穿插着发射导弹的场面。

From the moment we arrived, we were escorted by two Foreign Ministry handlers, and we were housed at a guarded Foreign Ministry compound.

我们从到达朝鲜的那一刻起,一直都有两位外交部人员陪同。我们被安置在外交部一个有人守卫的建筑物内。

Our hosts were always courteous, but there was a whiff of menace that didn’t exist on my previous trips to North Korea, not least because three Americans are currently being detained there. And just in August, North Korea sentenced two South Korean journalists and their publishers to death in absentia for their writing.

东道主一向都很有礼貌,但是这次却含着一丝威胁,以前我去朝鲜旅行的时候不是这样,可能是目前有三名美国人被羁押在朝鲜的原因。就在8月,朝鲜在被告缺席的情况下,以两名韩国记者写的文章为由,判处他们及其出版人死刑。

It was also troubling that we were given strong hints that the Foreign Ministry was isolating us and escorting us as protection from military and security agencies, which weren’t on board with our presence.

让我们烦心的另一件事是,有明显迹象显示朝鲜外交部以保护之名,尾随我们、并将我们隔离于军事和安保人员之外,虽然这些人员并没有直接露面。

North Korea is the most rigidly controlled country in the world, with no open dissent, no religion and no civil society, and there is zero chance that anyone will express dissatisfaction with the government.

朝鲜是世界上对公众控制最严格的国家,那里没有公开的异议,没有宗教信仰,没有民间组织,任何人都不会对政府表达不满。

Still, the conversations were illuminating. Ordinary North Koreans were unfamiliar with the name of Otto Warmbier, the American student who died days after being returned to the United States in a vegetative state after his detention in Pyongyang for stealing a poster. But they knew all about President Trump’s threats to destroy their country. That’s because the government wants them to know about Trump’s threats, because they bolster Kim’s nationalist narrative that he protects Korea from imperialist American aggressors.

然而,和公众之间的交谈仍然很有启发。普通朝鲜人对美国学生奥托·瓦姆比尔(Otto Warmbier)的名字很陌生,他因为偷海报在平壤被逮捕之后,以植物人状态被送回美国,没几天就过世了。但普通朝鲜人知道特朗普总统威胁要摧毁他们国家。那是因为政府希望他们知道特朗普的威胁,因为他们支持金正恩的民族主义叙事:他保护朝鲜免受美帝国主义入侵。

Being on the ground in a country lets you see things and absorb their power: the speaker on the walls of homes to feed propaganda; the pins that every adult wears with portraits of members of the Kim family; the daily power outages, but also signs that the economy is growing despite international sanctions; the Confucian emphasis on dignity that makes officials particularly resent Trump’s personal attacks on Kim; the hardening of attitudes since my last visit, in 2005; and the bizarre confidence that North Korea can not only survive a nuclear war with the U.S. but also emerge as victor.

在一个国家的土地上,你能看到一些事情,感受到它们的力量:家里墙壁上的扬声器在播放宣传内容;每个成年人都戴着金氏家族成员肖像徽章;每天都停电,但是也有迹象表明,尽管遭到国际制裁,朝鲜经济仍然在增长;儒家对尊严的强调,导致这里的官员特别反感特朗普对金正恩的人身攻击;自2005年我上次访问朝鲜以来,他们的态度越来越强硬;他们对朝鲜不仅能够与美国打核战,还能获得胜利拥有谜一般的信心。

At one factory, we came upon workers doing their “political study.” North Koreans explained that they have political study for two hours a day, plus most of the day on Saturday, so I asked what they focused on these days. “We must fight against the Americans!” one woman answered earnestly. And then the North Koreans in the room dissolved into laughter, perhaps because of the oddness of saying this to Americans.

在一家工厂里,我们见到工人正在进行“政治学习”。朝鲜人解释说,他们的政治学习时间是每天两个小时,再加上星期六的大部分时间,所以我就问他们现在关注的是什么。“我们必须抗击美国人!”一位女性认真回答说。然后房间里的朝鲜人笑了起来,也许是因为对一个美国人说这种话很奇怪。

A visit humanizes North Koreans, who outside the country sometimes come across as robots. In person, you are reminded that they laugh, flirt, worry, love and yearn to impress.

访问让人感觉到朝鲜人的人情味,他们在国外有时被视为机器人。而在私下里,你会看到他们笑、调情、担心、爱,渴望给人留下好印象。

A military officer greeted me with a bone-crushing handshake, and I asked if that was meant to intimidate and convey to the Yankee imperialists that North Koreans are muscular supermen. He laughed in embarrassment, and when we ended the interview, he was much gentler.

一名军官和我握手时用力很猛,我问他这是不是为了向美帝国主义者展示朝鲜超人的肌肉。他尴尬地笑了起来,当我们结束交谈时,他变得温和多了。

I left North Korea fearing that we are far too complacent about the risk of a cataclysmic war that could kill millions. And that’s why reporting from within North Korea is crucial: There simply is no substitute for being in a place. It’s a lesson we should have learned from the run-up to the Iraq war, when the reporting was too often from the Washington echo chamber rather than the field. When the stakes are millions of lives and official communications channels are nonexistent, then journalism can sometimes serve as a bridge — and as a warning.

离开朝鲜时,我的想法是,面对可能致数百万人丧生的灾难性战争,我们太不把这种风险当回事了。这就是要去朝鲜报道情况的关键原因:任何事都不能代替亲临其地。我们应该从伊拉克战争中学到这个教训:当时的报道常常是在华盛顿的回声室里做的,而没有去实地。当赌注是数以百万计的生命,但却没有官方沟通渠道时,新闻工作有时可以成为一座桥梁——并成为一个警告。

Yes, we must carefully weigh the risks — physical risks and the danger of being used by propagandists — and work to mitigate them.

是的,我们必须认真权衡风险,不管是人身风险还是被宣传者利用的危险;我们要努力降低这些风险。

But I have a sinking feeling in my gut, just as I had on the eve of the Iraq war, that our president may be careening blindly toward war. In that case, the job of journalists is to go out and report, however imperfectly, and try to ring alarm bells in the night.

但是,就像在伊拉克战争前夕一样,这次我也有种直觉,感到美国总统有盲目开战的倾向。在这种情况下,记者的工作就是出门去报道情况——即使这么做有些弊端——以及尝试在夜里敲响警钟。

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