《经济学人》:朝鲜的饥荒,让他们吃玉米皮
日期:2011-05-22 10:44

(单词翻译:单击)

Hunger in North Korea
朝鲜的饥荒

Let them eat maize husks
让他们吃玉米皮

The politics of hunger in a brutal place
野蛮之地的饥荒政治

May 12th 2011 | SEOUL | from the print edition

IT IS the time of year when the previous harvest has been nearly eaten and the next one has just been planted. Time, in other words, to worry about North Korea’s perennially hungry masses.

现在是那种青黄不接的时候。换句话说,是为朝鲜长期存在的吃不上饭的平民感到焦虑的时候了。

North Korea had long grown dependent on food handouts from its estranged brother, South Korea, and from the United States. But the South’s current president, Lee Myung-bak, has taken a tougher line, tying assistance to less provocative behaviour by Kim Jong Il’s nuclear-tipped regime. So Mr Kim’s envoys have travelled further afield of late, reportedly doing the rounds of Europe.

长期以来,朝鲜依赖失和的兄弟——韩国——和美国的救济。但是,韩国现任总统李明博采取了强硬路线,要想得到救助,金正日亲核政权就必须变得更加温和。所以,最近金正日的特使不远万里,据报道现在欧洲进行活动。

The UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) is now preparing to distribute emergency aid to 3.5m North Koreans suffering from “severe malnutrition”. Programme officials are concerned about the possibility of a famine on the scale of the one in the mid-1990s, in which over 1m died. They blame a series of shocks, including the coldest winter in years, widespread flooding and an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease among livestock. Some 297,000 tonnes of cereal and 137,000 tonnes of fortified blended food must reach the most vulnerable.

联合国世界粮食计划署正准备对350万经受“严重营养不良”的朝鲜人发放紧急救援。计划署官员们担心上世纪90年代中期导致100多万人死亡的饥荒可能再次发生。他们认为一系列的冲击——包括数年严冬、肆虐的洪水、牲畜的口蹄疫爆发是导致饥荒的主要原因。约297000吨谷物以及137000吨加强的混合食品必须送达那些最脆弱的人们。

With murky data, and diplomats and foreign-aid staff restricted in where they may travel, not everyone agrees with the WFP’s assessment. Certainly, estimating North Korea’s food needs has long been a politicised business. A member of South Korea’s ruling Grand National Party, Yoon Sang-hyun, says that the North is hoarding 1m tonnes of rice, playing up a shortfall in order to get aid on the cheap. Some say Mr Kim wants the aid in order to announce a bumper harvest in 2012. That year is the 100th anniversary of North Korea’s founder, Mr Kim’s father, Kim Il Sung. Something approaching paradise has long been promised to North Koreans for 2012.

考虑到数据模糊不清,加之对外交官和外国援助人员可能访问之地加以限制,并非每个人都与世界粮食计划署的评估意见一致。当然,长期以来,评估朝鲜的粮食需求一直是带有严肃政治性的事情。韩国执政的大国家党成员尹尚铉(Yoon Sang-hyun)称,朝鲜囤积有100万吨大米,夸大短缺是为了廉价获取援助。一些人则认为,金正日需要这些援助,为的是好在2012年宣布丰收。2012年是朝鲜建立者金正日父亲金日成100周年诞辰。朝鲜一直承诺在2012年会出现一种接近天堂般的生活。

The South’s unification minister, Hyun In-taek, also suspects North Korea of exaggerating its troubles for political gain. Certainly, he says, starvation has begun to overshadow other topics that the South would rather discuss, namely denuclearisation and the North’s refusal to apologise for last year’s shelling of Yeonpyeong island and the presumed sinking in March 2010 of a naval corvette. This is apparently a view shared by Daily NK, an activist network and news source which says that the price of rice in the black market has actually fallen by around half in recent months.

韩国统一部部长玄在泽(Hyun In-taek)也怀疑朝鲜夸大困难为的是寻求政治利益。他说,毫无疑问,饥荒问题使韩国可能会讨论的其它议题黯然失色,这些议题即朝鲜的无核化以及朝鲜拒绝为去年向延坪岛发射炮弹及2010年3月韩国海军护卫舰沉没一事道歉等。显然这也是与Daily NK共有的一个观点。Daily NK是一个激进分子网络,是“大米在黑市的价格在近几月实际下降了一半左右”的新闻来源。

Others, such as Good Friends, a South Korean Buddhist charity long working in the North, insist the situation is very bad—and that tuberculosis is on the rise owing to malnutrition. Rimjingang, a magazine with reporters secretly stationed in North Korea, says that in North Pyongan province by the Chinese border even the army is going hungry.

其它如长期在朝鲜工作的佛教慈善团体“好朋友”(Good Friends)则认为,情况相当糟糕,并且由于营养不良,肺结核感染正在增加。有记者秘密驻扎在朝鲜的杂志《Rimjingang》称,在与中国交接的平安省,甚至军队也发生饥荒。

Stephan Haggard and Marcus Noland, both at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, DC, say that even though the WFP has overstated the case, “all indicators point to a deteriorating food-security situation”. What is more, they take issue with Mr Lee’s belief that withholding aid will temper the North’s behaviour. Rather, they argue, the response will merely be for the hermit kingdom to “hunker down and tighten repression”. The regime has been consistent chiefly in showing complete disregard for its people.

华盛顿彼得森国际经济研究所(Peterson Institute for International Economics)的斯蒂芬·哈格德(Stephan Haggard)和马库斯·诺兰( Marcus Noland)称,即便世界粮食组织高估了情况,“所有迹象表明一种粮食安全情况正在恶化”。此外,他们反对李明博“扣留援助将软化朝鲜行为”的观点。他们甚至认为,神秘王国(朝鲜)的反应不过是“顽固坚持、加强镇压”。朝鲜政权大体上一直漠视它的人民。

But arguing is pointless. Widespread malnutrition and starvation in at least some parts of the country is a reality in North Korea. For Jimmy Carter, the former American president, who visited Pyongyang recently, the fault lies mainly with South Korea and the United States. That is presumably tonic to the real culprit for the hunger, the chubby Dear Leader, Kim Jong Il.

但是,争论毫无意义。至少在朝鲜部分地区存在普遍的营养不良和饥荒,这是现实。最近访问过平壤的美国前总统吉米·卡特认为,错误在韩国和美国一边。这一消息对饥荒背后真正的罪犯——圆胖的亲爱领袖金正日——而言,大概是一剂补药。

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重点单词
  • perenniallyadv. 永久地
  • sourcen. 发源地,来源,原始资料
  • dependentadj. 依靠的,依赖的,从属的 n. 受援助者
  • faultn. 缺点,过失,故障,毛病,过错,[地]断层 vt.
  • faminen. 饥荒,极度缺乏
  • disregardn. 不理会,漠视 vt. 忽视,不顾
  • responsen. 回答,响应,反应,答复 n. [宗]答复语,
  • provocativeadj. 气人的,挑拨的,刺激的 n. 刺激物,挑拨物,
  • charityn. 慈善,慈善机关(团体), 仁慈,宽厚
  • assistancen. 帮助,援助