Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images

即将到来的朝鲜冲突

基辅—想象一下现在是2020年。中央情报局局长要求与美国总统紧急会面。理由:朝鲜成功制造出小型核弹,可以装在洲际弹道导弹弹头上并打击美国本土。这一消息很快泄露并公之于众。不仅在华盛顿,首尔、东京、北京和莫斯科也纷纷举行高规格会议讨论如何应对。

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这一情景今天看起来也许不现实,但它更多地属于政治科学而非科幻小说。朝鲜刚刚进行了第五次(也显然是成功的)核爆装置测试,而不久前,它刚刚测试了多枚弹道导弹。如果不进行大规模干预,朝鲜扩充核武库(预计现在拥有8—12枚装置)并实现核武器微缩化以增加导弹打击面和打击精度将只是时间问题。

如果朝鲜迈过这个门槛,那么这个全世界最军事化、最封闭社会的危险怎么高估都不过分。能够威胁到美国本土的朝鲜可能会认为它不必再忌惮美国的军力,这一判断可能导致其向韩国发动常规非核打击。即使这场战争最后以朝鲜失败告终,获胜的代价也将极其巨大。

尽管如此,朝鲜不必发动一场战争让其核武器和导弹进步产生真正的影响力。如果韩国或日本有朝一日认定朝鲜能够威慑美国不卷入朝鲜半岛战争,它们将失去对美国安全保证的信心,它们发展自身核武器的可能性也会随之提高。这一决定将引起中国警觉,为地区危机乃至世界人口、财富和军力最集中部分的冲突创造条件。

还有另外一个风险。囿于现金的朝鲜可能向出价最高者兜售核武器,买家可能是恐怖组织,也可能是同样认为自己需要这一终极武器的国家。顾名思义,核扩散将增加进一步核扩散的可能——也随之增加实际使用核武器的可能。

美国有不少选项,但吸引力都不甚大。如果进行谈判,很难找出理由认定朝鲜可能放弃其心目中的最佳生存保障。事实上,朝鲜利用谈判为其核与导弹能力的进一步发展赢取时间。

另一个选项是继续目前的扩大制裁政策。问题在于制裁不够严厉,不足以迫使朝鲜放弃其核与导弹计划。这部分是因为中国担心朝鲜一旦崩溃将导致大量难民涌入并形成一个投靠美国的统一的韩国,因此它将继续保证朝鲜获得其所需要的燃料和粮食。

因此,以对华外交为重点更有意义。在于韩国和日本进行紧密磋商后,美国应该与中国官员会晤讨论统一的韩国应该怎样,以打消中国的部分顾虑。比如,统一后的韩国可以无核,留驻朝鲜半岛的美军将削减规模并进一步南迁。

当然,这些保证有可能甚至基本肯定无法让中国缩减对朝支持。在这样的情况下,美国还有三个选项。其一是接受一个拥有可以将核弹投送至美国本土的导弹的朝鲜。对朝政策变为防御(部署更多反导系统)和威慑,让朝鲜知道一旦使用或传播核武器就将导致政权的末日乃至核报复。也可以运用网络武器阻挠或破坏朝鲜核计划的进展。

其二是常规军事打击,目标为朝鲜核与导弹能力。危险在于这样的打击可能无法全部命中目标,结果是引发朝鲜对韩常规军事打击(目前有30,000美军驻扎在韩国)甚至核打击。不消说,日本和韩国必须在军事行动开始之前做好支持美国一切军事反应的准备。

其三是只在情报表明朝鲜已进入导弹警戒状态、准备立即使用时发动这一常规军事打击。这是经典的先发制人打击。危险在于情报可能不够明确——或不够及时。

所有这些让我们回到2020年的那个可能的日子。如果说还有许多事情仍不确定的话,那么有一件事已经确定,那就是,不论谁赢得11月的美国总统选举,在他或她的任期内都将面临命运攸关的朝鲜政策决定。

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