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朝鲜的威胁不只有核武,还有化武

更新时间:2017-10-30 19:06:21 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

North Korea and the Threat of Chemical Warfare
朝鲜的威胁不只有核武,还有化武

The war of words between President Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un over Pyongyang’s nuclear program has rattled nerves around the world. But the trial of two women in Malaysia for using the nerve agent VX to kill Mr. Kim’s half brother is a reminder that North Korea’s lethal arsenal isn’t limited to nuclear weapons. The North’s chemical weapons pose a grave risk to South Korea and to regional stability.

美国总统特朗普和朝鲜领导人金正恩(Kim Jong-un)就平壤核计划展开的骂战令全世界紧张不安。不过,在马来西亚,两名女子因使用神经毒剂VX杀害金正恩的同父异母兄弟而接受审判一事提醒着人们,朝鲜的致命武器并不局限于核武器。它的化学武器对韩国和地区稳定构成了严重威胁。

Experts say chemical munitions have long been deployed along the demilitarized zone that separates the North and South. In the event of a military attack against the North, analysts say, the regime sees chemicals as an option for a first response. Seoul and its 10 million inhabitants could be hit immediately.

专家表示,长期以来朝鲜一直沿着分隔朝韩的非军事区部署化学武器。分析人士表示,一旦出现针对朝鲜的军事打击,朝鲜政权将视化学武器为一个应急反应选项。首尔及其1000万居民可能立即遭到攻击。

Estimates of casualties are staggering. Images from Syria of children gassed with sarin in recent years have horrified the world; imagine a death toll in South Korea a thousand times larger.

预计伤亡人数会十分惊人。近年来,叙利亚儿童遭受沙林毒气伤害的照片震惊了全世界。可以想见韩国的死亡人数将多出1000倍。

In a June article in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the military historian Reid Kirby used the term “sea of sarin” to describe such an attack. Accounting for sarin’s toxicity, the types of artillery along the DMZ, and vulnerability of children and the elderly, he estimated that a sarin attack could kill as many as 2.5 million people in Seoul and injure millions more. There are about 24,000 United States military personnel in South Korea, along with their families, and thousands of American expatriates.

在《原子科学家公报》(Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists)6月的一篇文章中,军事史学家里德·柯比(Reid Kirby)用“沙林的海洋”来形容这种攻击。基于沙林的毒性、非军事区的火炮类型以及儿童和老人的脆弱性,他估计,一次沙林攻击可能造成首尔多达250万人死亡,数百万人受伤。韩国目前约有2.4万名美国军事人员,以及他们的家人,还有成千上万名美国侨民。

No one outside of the North Korean government knows with certainty the composition of the country’s chemical stockpile, but intelligence from defectors and the South Korean government suggests that Pyongyang has 2,500 to 5,000 metric tons of some 20 chemical warfare agents.

该国化学武器储备的构成只有朝鲜政府自己知道,但根据叛逃者和韩国政府的情报,平壤拥有2500至5000吨化学武器,种类大概有20种。

Experts have long suspected that the North’s arsenal includes VX, which is far more toxic than sarin. The gruesome murder in February of Mr. Kim’s estranged half brother, Kim Jong-nam — a brazen killing in a Malaysian airport that prosecutors say was carried out by two women, trained by North Korean agents, who rubbed the victim’s face with VX — has dispelled any doubts that the North has the chemical. Unlike sarin, VX is “persistent,” meaning it lingers in the environment rather than disperses. The mustard gas that drenched World War I battlefields is the original persistent chemical.

专家们长期以来一直怀疑,朝鲜的武器库中包含VX,它的毒性比沙林大得多。2月,对与金正恩不和的同父异母兄长金正男(Kim Jong-nam)的可怕谋杀,驱散了对朝鲜拥有这种化学武器的任何疑虑。这场肆无忌惮的谋杀发生在马来西亚机场,据检方称,凶手是两名接受过朝鲜特工训练的女子,她们往受害者的脸上抹了VX。与沙林不同,VX是“持久性的”,也就是说,它会在环境中停留而不是消散。在第一次世界大战战场上普遍使用的芥子气,是最初的持久性化学武器。

Kim Jong-nam’s murder also raises the specter of new proliferation of chemical arms. The fact that VX made its way out of North Korea undetected to another country could indicate that Mr. Kim would use the North’s extensive criminal smuggling networks to secretly assist other nations, or nonstate actors, in obtaining or producing it.

金正男被害案也引发了人们对化学武器再度扩散的恐惧。VX从朝鲜流入另一个国家而未被察觉的事实可能表明,金正恩会利用朝鲜庞大的犯罪走私网络,秘密地帮助其他国家或非国家行为者获取或生产这种化学武器。

The chemical menace from North Korea recalls a time when chemical weapons posed far more of a global threat than they do today. The doctrine of strategic deterrence — maintaining stockpiles of powerful weapons to keep a similarly armed adversary in check — didn’t begin with nuclear weapons; rather, it emerged from gas warfare in World War I.

朝鲜的化学武器威胁让人想起了以前的一个时期,那时化学武器造成的全球威胁远超过今天。战略威慑理论——也就是,保持强大的武器储备,以遏制具有类似武器装备的对手——不是始于核武器,而是始于一战期间的毒气战。

In the war’s aftermath, the Geneva Protocol of 1925 banned chemical warfare but not chemical weapons. The rationale for that apparent contradiction was that rogue nations might disregard international law and use chemical arms to attack cities and civilian populations in much the way North Korea threatens to do today. The way to deter such attacks, the logic went, was to maintain a stockpile. If signatory nations suffered a chemical attack, they could then retaliate in kind.

一战结束后,1925年签署的《日内瓦议定书》(Geneva Protocol)禁止在战争中使用化学武器,但并不禁止生产化学武器。这一明显矛盾的理由是,流氓国家可能无视国际法,使用化学武器攻击城市和平民,就像现在朝鲜威胁要做的那样。也就是说,遏制此类攻击的方法就是保持储备。如果签署国受到化学武器攻击,它们可以进行类似的报复。

The United States Senate, convinced that the agreement was folly in a dangerous world, refused to ratify the pact. Many nations developed sophisticated chemical weapons programs, as well as biological weapons. By the 1990s, the United States had an arsenal of 27,700 metric tons of chemical agents, and Russia had at least 40,000.

美国参议院认为该协议在一个危险的世界里是愚蠢的,拒绝予以批准。很多国家展开了尖端化学武器以及生物武器研发。到20世纪90年代,美国拥有2.77万吨化学毒剂,俄罗斯拥有至少4万吨。

The threat of chemical warfare diminished because of the far greater power of nuclear weapons, but also because of the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, which outlawed the weapons altogether. The United States and South Korea are among the 192 nations party to the agreement, and they agreed to destroy their chemical arsenals. North Korea did not join.

化学战威胁减少的一个原因是核武器的威力更大,但也是因为1997年的《化学武器公约》(Chemical Weapons Convention)完全禁止了这类武器。美国和韩国是加入该公约的192个国家之一,它们同意销毁自己的化学武器库。朝鲜没有加入。

After President Bashar al-Assad of Syria was accused of using sarin in 2013, he joined the convention. He promptly violated it with more chemical barrages, including the sarin attack in Khan Sheikhoun in April that spurred President Trump to retaliate with a missile strike.

2013年,叙利亚总统巴沙尔·阿萨德(Bashar al-Assad)被控使用沙林毒气,之后他加入了该公约。但他很快违背该公约,发起了更多化学武器攻击,包括4月在汉谢洪进行的沙林攻击,这促使特朗普总统发起导弹攻击进行报复。

A similar show of force against Mr. Kim’s regime could have catastrophic consequences for South Korea. The North’s nuclear arms are one layer of deterrence against attack; the chemical arms are a second. Many experts say that Mr. Kim, if attacked with conventional weapons as a warning or a pre-emptive strike, could see chemical weapons as a way to retaliate without escalating to nuclear weapons.

对金正恩政权进行类似的武力展示,可能会给韩国带来灾难性后果。朝鲜的核武器只是它遏制攻击的一层防护,化学武器是另一层。很多专家认为,如果为了警告或先发制人而用传统武器攻击金正恩,他可能会将化学武器作为一种报复手段,不必升级到核武器。

After the Syrian sarin attack in April, Mr. Trump used unusually emotional terms in his speech about his decision to launch the missile strike. “Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack,” he said. “No child of God should ever suffer such horror.”

在4月叙利亚发动沙林攻击后,特朗普在讲话中不同寻常地使用了一些充满感情的措辞,解释他发动导弹袭击的决定。“连美丽的婴儿也在这场非常野蛮的袭击中被残忍地杀害了,”他说。“上帝的孩子不应该经受这样的恐怖。”

Let’s hope that the president’s memory of those searing images will make him think twice before attacking Kim Jong-un. The fate of millions of South Koreans within range of Mr. Kim’s chemical arsenal may depend on it.

让我们寄望于总统还记得那些令人心痛的画面,在攻击金正恩之前三思。这关系到金正恩化学武器库攻击范围内数百万韩国人的生死。

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