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特朗普和金正恩的危险较量
Korea and the risk of nuclear miscalculation

2017-4-19 09:21| 发布者: 岁月如歌| 查看: 166| 评论: 0

摘要: In 1950, a combination of ill-judged words in Washington and miscalculation in Pyongyang led to the outbreak of the Korean war. Now, as the world contemplates the prospect that another war might break ...
In 1950, a combination of ill-judged words in Washington and miscalculation in Pyongyang led to the outbreak of the Korean war. Now, as the world contemplates the prospect that another war might break out on the Korean peninsula, the danger is that governments in the US and North Korea will once again miscalculate — and slide into conflict.

Many historians trace the outbreak of the Korean war to a speech given by Dean Acheson at the National Press Club in Washington in January 1950. The US secretary of state spoke about America’s “defence perimeter” in Asia — and suggested that Korea lay beyond the perimeter. In Pyongyang, the leader of North Korea, Kim Il Sung, took note of the clear implication that the US would not defend South Korea. Five months later his armies poured across the 38th parallel and invaded the South. But Kim had miscalculated. The US did fight. The Korean war cost hundreds of thousands of lives, led to direct fighting between US and Chinese forces — and has never formally ended. To this day, peace in Korea is maintained by an armistice rather than a formal peace treaty.

Where Acheson signalled indifference, President Donald Trump is signalling resolve — vowing that the US will stop North Korea’s nuclear programme and hinting heavily that he is prepared to take pre-emptive military action.

But once again there is a distinct danger that North Korea will lash out unpredictably.

The country’s leader Kim Jong Un, the grandson of Kim Il Sung, has embraced his forebear’s militarism, isolationism and paranoia. If the current Kim concludes that the US is indeed poised to attack his regime, he will be tempted to attack first. His incentive to move fast will only have been increased by stories in the media, that the US’s war plans involve an early attempt to kill the North Korean leadership.

North Korea’s military doctrine, as expressed in recent exercises, envisages the first use of nuclear weapons to ward off defeat or destruction. Jeffrey Lewis, an academic expert, wrote recently in Foreign Policy: “Kim’s strategy depends on using nuclear weapons early — before the United States can kill him or special forces can find his missile units?.?.?.?He has to go first, if he is to go at all.”

Although North Korea has not yet developed a nuclear missile that can hit the west coast of the US, it may well have nuclear-capable missiles that could hit South Korea or Japan. The South Korean capital, Seoul — which is just 35 miles from the North Korean border — is definitely vulnerable to a devastating barrage of conventional artillery. And Japan and South Korea are very worried by North Korea’s chemical weapons.

Mr Trump’s heavy hints that the US is considering an attack on North Korea are designed to put pressure on China to “deliver” its client state on the Korean peninsula. This might work. The Chinese government is openly alarmed by events in North Korea and may pressurise Pyongyang much more heavily. It is also possible that the Kim regime is more intimidated than its outward swagger suggests and could yet freeze its nuclear programme.

But while it is certainly conceivable that the Trump administration’s bellicose strategy could deliver, it is more likely that North Korea will not back down — and that the Trump strategy will therefore fail. In that case, the US president is faced with a dilemma. Does Mr Trump’s “very powerful armada” steam away from the Korean peninsula, with its mission unaccomplished? Can the administration present an intensification of economic sanctions, possibly in conjunction with China, as the very tough action that it has promised?

Mr Trump is capable of shameless switches in rhetoric and policy. So it is certainly possible that he will simply back down on North Korea, or will embrace the status quo as the dramatic change that he has been seeking all along.

However, it is also possible that Mr Trump has convinced himself that a first strike on North Korea is a workable option. Any such conclusion would fly in the face of standard military advice, which holds that it is impossible to “take out” the North Korean nuclear programme with a single wave of attacks and that therefore, following any such assault, South Korea, Japan and US bases in the region, would be exposed to retaliation.

The US military is well aware of the risks entailed by a first strike on North Korea. So it is encouraging to recall that General HR McMaster, Mr Trump’s national security adviser, has written a book lambasting US generals for not giving frank advice to politicians during the Vietnam war.

Set against that is the danger that Mr Trump — after a chaotic start to his presidency — has concluded that military action is the key to the “winning” image that he promised his voters. The president lapped up the bipartisan applause that he got for bombing Syria. He dropped a huge conventional bomb on Afghanistan shortly afterwards and his son, Donald junior, tweeted his exultation — complete with an emoji of a bomb.

There are members of the president’s inner circle who do indeed believe that the Trump administration is seriously contemplating a “first strike” on North Korea. But if Kim Jong Un has drawn the same conclusion — he may reach for the nuclear trigger first.

1950年,华盛顿不明智的言论,加上平壤的错误判断,导致了朝鲜战争的爆发。现在,全世界在考虑朝鲜半岛爆发另一场战争的可能性,其危险在于美国和朝鲜政府将再次误判,并陷入冲突。

许多历史学家将朝鲜战争爆发的根源归结于迪安?艾奇逊(Dean Acheson)在华盛顿全国新闻俱乐部(National Press Club)发表的一场讲话。这位时任美国国务卿谈到了美国在亚洲的“防卫圈”,并暗示朝鲜半岛在该防卫圈之外。在平壤,朝鲜领导人金日成(Kim Il Sung)注意到了其明确含义——美国不会保卫韩国。5个月后,他的大军跨过北纬38度线,入侵韩国。但金日成算错了。美国出兵了。朝鲜战争牺牲了数十万条生命,导致美中两国军队直接开战,而且从未正式结束。到目前为止,朝鲜半岛的和平是靠停战,而不是一个正式的和平条约来维持的。

而艾奇逊当初表示不重视的地方,美国总统唐纳德?特朗普(Donald Trump)正表示决心,他誓言美国将阻止朝鲜的核计划,并强烈暗示自己准备采取先发制人的军事行动。

但一个明显的危险也再次浮现:朝鲜将不可预见地发动攻击。

朝鲜现在的领袖、金日成的孙子金正恩(Kim Jong Un)继承了祖辈的军国主义、孤立主义和偏执狂。如果金家当权者认为美国确实准备攻击他的政权,那么他面临的诱惑将是先下手为强。有媒体报道称,美国的战争计划涉及在开战之初就干掉朝鲜领导层,这类报道只会增加他赶紧动手的动机。

正如近期演练所表明的那样,朝鲜军事学说的设想是率先使用核武器以防战败或被摧毁。学术专家杰弗里?路易斯(Jeffrey Lewis)最近在《外交政策》(Foreign Policy)中写道:“金正恩的战略依赖尽早使用核武器——在美国能杀死他,或特种部队可以找到他的导弹部队之前……他不得不先下手,如果他还想下手的话。”

虽然朝鲜还没有开发出能够打到美国西海岸的核导弹,但它很可能拥有能打到韩国或日本的核导弹。韩国首都首尔距韩朝边境只有35英里,对常规火炮的猛烈炮火都很脆弱。日韩还极为担心朝鲜的化学武器。

特朗普强烈暗示美国之所以考虑攻击朝鲜,是为了施压中国“管好”其在朝鲜半岛的附庸国。这招或许有用。中国政府对朝鲜的事态公开表示震惊,可能对平壤施加大得多的压力。另一个可能是,金家政权并不像其表面那样张狂,他们其实更为恐慌,并可能冻结其核武计划。

不过,尽管可以想象特朗普政府的强悍战略可能结出果实,但更有可能的是朝鲜不会退缩,这样一来特朗普的战略将失败。在这种情况下,美国总统将面临两难局面。特朗普“非常强大的无敌舰队”会不会没有完成任务就离开朝鲜半岛海域?特朗普政府会不会收紧对朝鲜的——可能与中国一道——经济制裁,并将其说成是它曾承诺的严厉行动?

特朗普有本事不知羞耻地转变言论和政策。所以他当然可能会在朝鲜问题上不了了之,或者把现状包装为他一直在寻求的戏剧性变化。

不过,也有可能特朗普已确信,对朝鲜进行先发制人打击是一个可行选择。这类结论都与主流军事建议不符,即一波攻击不可能“摧毁”朝鲜核武计划,因此在发动此类攻击后,韩国、日本以及美国在地区的基地可能遭到报复。

美国军方非常清楚对朝鲜发动先发制人打击的风险。因此令人鼓舞的是,特朗普的国家安全顾问、陆军中将赫伯特?雷蒙德?麦克马斯特(HR McMaster)曾撰写著作,抨击一众美国将领在越战期间没有向政客提供坦率的建议。

在此背景下,危险在于特朗普——经过总统任期之初的混乱后——已得出结论,军事行动是他向选民承诺的“获胜”形象的关键。这位总统欣然接受了两党对他导弹袭击叙利亚的赞许。不久之后,他又在阿富汗投下一枚巨大的常规炸弹,而他的儿子小唐纳德(Donald Jr)在Twitter上表达了自己的狂喜,结尾还用了一个炸弹表情符号。

美国总统核心圈子里有成员确实相信,特朗普政府正在认真考虑对朝鲜进行“先发制人打击”。但如果金正恩也得出相同结论,他的手可能会先伸向核按钮。

译者/何黎


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