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朝鲜最新洲际导弹试射被指作假,但仍值得关注

North Korean ICBM Launch May Have Been Fake. It’s Still Important.
朝鲜最新洲际导弹试射被指作假,但仍值得关注

SEOUL — When North Korea conducted its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile test to date​ last week​, it said it launched the Hwasong-17, its newest and biggest ICBM. In a propaganda blitz, the country’s state media released a Hollywood-style video of its leader, Kim Jong-un, personally guiding the test launch in a sleek leather jacket and sunglasses at Pyongyang International Airport.

首尔——朝鲜上周试验了该国迄今威力最大的洲际弹道导弹,声称此次发射的是其最新、最大的洲际弹道导弹火星-17。在全面推出的宣传中,朝鲜官方媒体发布了一段好莱坞风格的视频,其中朝鲜领导人金正恩身穿时尚的皮夹克,戴着墨镜,在平壤国际机场亲自指导试射。

South Korea​ now says it may have been a ruse.

现在,韩国认为这一切可能是在耍花招。
 

朝鲜官方媒体提供的一张照片显示,3月24日,“火星-17”型导弹在朝鲜平壤国际机场成功试射。

In a report to the National Assembly on Tuesday, the South Korean Defense Ministry endorsed what some analysts had already suspected: North Korea actually fired its older Hwasong-15 ICBM — which ​was tested in 2017 — and exaggerated Mr. Kim’s weapons achievements by falsely claiming a successful Hwasong-17 launch.

在周二提交给韩国国会的一份报告中,韩国国防部证实了一些分析人士已经怀疑的事情:朝鲜实际上发射的是较老的火星-15洲际弹道导弹(曾于2017年进行测试),并谎称火星-17导弹发射成功,从而夸大了金正恩在武器方面的成就,。

Mr. Kim badly needs to strengthen his diplomatic leverage with the United States and South Korea, and a successful new launch may have helped. But more important, South Korean officials said, Mr. Kim used the launch and a crude, fake presentation of video and photos ​to demonstrate his infallible leadership to the long-suffering people of North Korea.

金正恩迫切需要加强对美国和韩国的外交影响力,一次成功的新发射可能对此有所帮助。但更重要的是,韩国官员称,金正恩在利用这次发射以及通过视频和照片做出的粗陋、虚假的呈现,向长期受苦受难的朝鲜人民展现他无懈可击的领导能力。

The country will celebrate the 110th birthday of Kim Il-sung, ​Mr. Kim’s grandfather and North Korea’s founder, next month. With his economy hobbled by international sanctions and the pandemic, Mr. Kim has often used such occasions to focus on his growing nuclear capabilities and to show off his power.

下个月朝鲜将庆祝金正恩的祖父、朝鲜建国元勋金日成诞辰110年。朝鲜经济受到国际制裁和疫情的拖累,金正恩经常利用这种场合集中展示自己日益增强的核能力,并炫耀自己的权力。

“We suspect the latest launch had more to do with domestic considerations,” the Defense Ministry said in its ​parliamentary ​report.

“我们怀疑最近的发射更多是为了国内的情况,”国防部在其国会报告中说。

When North Korea first unveiled the Hwasong-17 during a military parade in October 2020, it appeared to be the largest mobile-launcher ICBM the world had ever seen. Some analysts suspected that, unlike the Hwasong-15, which is built to carry a single warhead, the Hwasong-17 appeared to be designed to carry multiple nuclear warheads. A successful launch would have marked a significant milestone in North Korea’s ICBM program.

火星-17导弹于2020年10月在朝鲜的阅兵式上首次公开,当时看起来应该是有史以来世界最大的移动发射洲际弹道导弹。一些分析人士怀疑,与用于携带一枚核弹头的火星-15不同,火星-17似乎可以携带多枚核弹头。如果发射成功,这将是朝鲜洲际弹道导弹计划的一个重要里程碑。

North Korea ​began testing the Hwasong-17 ​this year. On Feb. 27 and March 5​, it tested the missile’s first-stage booster rocket and other components​, but not at full range. ​In its third test, conducted on March 16, something went wrong​, and the rocket exploded in the sky near Pyongyang, the capital, shortly after liftoff.

朝鲜于今年开始测试火星-17。2月27日和3月5日,朝鲜测试了该导弹的一级助推火箭和其他部件,但没有进行全部测试。在3月16日进行的第三次试验中出现了一些问题,火箭升空后不久在首都平壤附近的天空中爆炸。

“The explosion was visible to the naked eye, as its debris rained down through the sky over Pyongyang,” Ha Tae-keung, a South Korean lawmaker, told reporters this week. “Pyongyang citizens were shocked, and it could even have led to some instability.” South Korean officials said Mr. Kim likely used the successful test flight of the Hwasong-15 disguised as the Hwasong-17 on March 24 ​as damage control​.

“爆炸是肉眼可见的,在平壤,残骸像雨点一样从天而降,”韩国议员河泰庆本周告诉记者。“平壤市民感到震惊,这甚至可能导致一些不稳定。”韩国官员说,金正恩可能将3月24日伪装为火星-17的火星-15导弹成功试射来止损。

​“Now that Pyongyang citizens had witnessed the failure, they needed to send a message of success and do so quickly in order to prevent rumors from spreading and to ensure regime stability,” the Defense Ministry said in its parliamentary report. “So they launched a Hwasong-15 model whose reliability had been confirmed through a test in 2017.”

“既然平壤市民已经目睹了失败,他们需要迅速发出一个成功的信息,以防止谣言传播,确保政权稳定,”韩国国防部在其国会报告中表示。“因此,他们发射了火星-15型导弹,其可靠性已通过2017年的测试得到确认。”

The Hwasong-17 is bigger and longer than the Hwasong-15. Its first-stage booster rocket has four nozzles, while the Hwasong-15 ha​s only two. But Mr. Kim’s propagandists edited and combined video footage and photos from the earlier Hwasong-17 tests with those from the Hwasong-15 last Thursday, creating the illusion of a successful Hwasong-17 launch, South Korean officials said.

火星-17比火星-15更大更长。其第一级助推火箭有四个喷管,而火星-15只有两个。但韩国官员表示,金正恩的宣传人员将此前的火星-17试验与上周四的火星-15试验的视频和照片进行了编辑和组合,制造了火星-17成功发射的假象。

While unsuspecting North Koreans may have been fooled, the alleged fakery did not escape the scrutiny of South Korean defense officials and private analysts.

虽然毫无戒心的朝鲜人可能被愚弄了,但造假迹象并未逃脱韩国国防官员和私立分析机构的检查。

The weather around Pyongyang last Thursday was overcast, but some photos of the test ​released by North Korean media ​showed a fine and clear day. The test ​took place in the afternoon, but in some photos and video footage, the shadow of Mr. Kim at the test site suggests that he was inspecting a test in the morning​. (All three previous Hwasong-17​ tests, including the one that failed, ​took place in the morning.)

上周四,平壤周围的天气是阴天,但朝鲜媒体公布的一些照片显示天气晴朗。试射是在下午进行的,但在一些照片和视频片段中,金正恩在试验场的影子表明,他是在上午视察试验。(火星-17之前的三次测试都是在上午进行的,包括失败的那一次。)

T​he engine burn time and trajectory data from the test also hinted at a Hwasong-15 rather than the Hwasong-17​, South Korean officials said​. And lastly, satellite and other data indicated that the missile ​had two nozzles, not four, ​officials said.

韩国官员说,测试中的发动机燃烧时间和轨迹数据也暗示是它是火星-15,而不是火星-17。最后,官员们说,卫星和其他数据表明,这枚导弹有两个喷管,而不是四个。

​With no free news media allowed in North Korea, it is extremely difficult to verify official claims independently. When North Korea conducts a weapons test like the one last Thursday, outside analysts have few sources of information other than North Korean state media and a small amount of data released from Seoul or Tokyo. And in North Korea, propaganda routinely trumps the truth.

在朝鲜没有自由新闻媒体的情况下,要独立核实官方声明极其困难。当朝鲜进行上周四这样的武器试验时,除了朝鲜官方媒体以及首尔或东京公布的少量数据外,外界分析人士几乎没有其他信息来源。而在朝鲜,宣传总能掩盖真相。

Still, it is unusual for the South Korean military to dispute a North Korean claim so publicly and with so much detail. Some analysts say the South Korean military has a history of downplaying the power of its Northern rival.

不过,韩国军方如此公开、详细地质疑朝鲜的说法十分不寻常。一些分析人士称,韩国军方一向乐于指出不应高估朝鲜的实力。

The South Korean military may also have been particularly upset by the launch because it came in the middle of a rocky presidential transition in Seoul: President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol ​told the Defense Ministry ​to move out of its current location so he could use it for his presidential office after his inauguration on May 10.

韩国军方对这次发生特别不满,也可能是因为它发生在首尔总统过渡的不稳定时期,候任总统尹锡悦要求国防部搬离目前的位置,以便他在5月10日就职后可以将其用作总统办公室。

Hwasong-17 or not, the North’s latest missile launch still violated U.N. resolutions and the country’s self-imposed moratorium on ICBM tests. It also demonstrated significant technological advances. The missile soared 3,852 miles into space, compared with an altitude of 2,796 miles that the Hwasong-15 achieved in its last test in November 2017.

不管火星-17是否存在,朝鲜最近的导弹发射仍然违反了联合国决议和该国自行规定的暂停洲际弹道导弹试验。此举还展示了重大的技术进步。这枚导弹飞入太空6248公里,相比之下,火星-15型导弹在2017年11月的最后一次测试中达到的高度是4475公里。

The main question appears to be whether the weapon was an improved and more powerful version of the Hwasong-15 or the same Hwasong-15 equipped with more fuel and a lighter payload allowing it to fly higher.

主要的问题是,火星-17究竟是不是火星-15的改进版和更强大的版本,抑或只是火星-15配备了更多的燃料和更轻的有效载荷,使其能够飞得更高。

“We ​should not pay too much attention to whether this was a Hwasong-15 or 17,” said Kim Dong-yup, an expert on the North Korean military at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul. “I don’t think you can generate such flight data by just reducing the payload or using a little more fuel. This clearly marks a technological advance.”

“我们不应该过于关注这是火星-15还是火星-17,”首尔朝鲜研究大学的朝鲜军事专家金东烨(音)说。“我不认为仅仅通过减少有效载荷或多消耗一点燃料就能生成这样的飞行数据。这显然标志着技术的进步。”
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