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美国国家公共电台 NPR As North Korea Tensions Rise, U.S. Army Trains Soldiers To Fight In Tunnels

时间:2018-01-11 03:04来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]



North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, and President Trump1 have been trading threats and personal insults. It's even gotten to who has the bigger nuclear button. Now, the U.S. secretaries of state and defense2 insist that despite that, they are still pursuing diplomacy3. But that does not mean the United States is not preparing for a different scenario4.

Here's Defense Secretary James Mattis speaking last fall.


JAMES MATTIS: Now, what does the future hold? Neither you nor I can say, so there's one thing the U.S. Army can do and that is you have got to be ready to ensure that we have military options that our president can employ if needed.

GREENE: Military options when dealing5 with North Korea. Those are some pretty strong and important words that we should explore more with NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman, who's here. Hey, Tom.


GREENE: So what have you been looking at? Are there actually options being, I mean, considered for North Korea?

BOWMAN: Well, one of the things the Army is doing is training many more soldiers, thousands more soldiers, in tunnel warfare7. Now, usually, the Army has one or two brigades - and a brigade is about 4,000 soldiers - trained in this kind of activity. They want to double, maybe even triple the number of soldiers because North Korea is basically honeycombed with tunnels and bunkers, thousands of them.

And this is all an effort just to get ready should the president say, it's time for military action against North Korea.

GREENE: So for decades, the north has been - what? - building this network of tunnels anticipating a possible war with the south or the U.S. or somebody?

BOWMAN: Absolutely. They bury chemical, biological weapons in these tunnels. They have some for troops. They're miles long, some hundreds of feet deep. Nuclear weapons can be put in these tunnels. Even artillery8...


BOWMAN: ...Can be put in these tunnels and rolled out when need be. Now, they've discovered some of these tunnels under the demilitarized zone and some have even gotten closer to Seoul. One is now a tourist site in Seoul that people can go into.

GREENE: I also went to the demilitarized zone. There's a tunnel you can go down right up to the North Korean border. Is that one of these tunnels, too? I mean, it's...

BOWMAN: I'm not sure if that's one, but it could be.

GREENE: Maybe they've recreated it. But I'll certainly go there next time and it won't be as much fun with all these tensions that are there. How much does the U.S. know about these tunnels? It's not like this is a country that, I presume, they can get a ton of intelligence from. I mean, do they have a good sense of what these tunnels are like, where they are? How much prep can they actually do?

BOWMAN: Well they can see from satellites some entrances and exits from some of these tunnels. They know there are thousands of them and, again, hundreds of feet deep.

But again, if there is military action against North Korea - and some of them are so deep, you're going to have to send soldiers, U.S. soldiers, South Korean soldiers, into these tunnels to either, you know, find nuclear weapons or chemical and biological weapons because they're so far underground, they're going to be, you know, not be able to be taken out by bombs or missiles.

GREENE: Totally different kind of warfare it sounds like.

BOWMAN: Absolutely. And I'm told that the soldiers from the 101st Airborne and the 82nd Airborne are among those soldiers to have to get this kind of training. They've also bought specialized9 equipment, bolt cutters, acetylene torches, special night-vision goggles10 because in the tunnels, there's no ambient light, special radios as well.

And they're going to be training throughout 2018. But I think it's important to note that this is just getting ready. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has said the Army must be ready. This does not mean that the U.S. is inching closer to war. It means, as Mattis said, the Army has to be ready if the president needs options.

GREENE: OK, so this is the kind of thing that might go on with different scenarios11 that the military is considering around the world.

BOWMAN: Absolutely.

GREENE: But it is noteworthy that they are specifically looking at the situation in North Korea and what the U.S. military could confront.

BOWMAN: Right. And the Army's doing this quietly. They're not basically coming out and putting out press releases about this training.

GREENE: That would probably not be the best idea.

BOWMAN: Right. It is very quietly being done.

GREENE: NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman. Tom, thanks.

BOWMAN: You're welcome, David.


1 trump LU1zK     
  • He was never able to trump up the courage to have a showdown.他始终鼓不起勇气摊牌。
  • The coach saved his star player for a trump card.教练保留他的明星选手,作为他的王牌。
2 defense AxbxB     
  • The accused has the right to defense.被告人有权获得辩护。
  • The war has impacted the area with military and defense workers.战争使那个地区挤满了军队和防御工程人员。
3 diplomacy gu9xk     
  • The talks have now gone into a stage of quiet diplomacy.会谈现在已经进入了“温和外交”阶段。
  • This was done through the skill in diplomacy. 这是通过外交手腕才做到的。
4 scenario lZoxm     
  • But the birth scenario is not completely accurate.然而分娩脚本并非完全准确的。
  • This is a totally different scenario.这是完全不同的剧本。
5 dealing NvjzWP     
  • This store has an excellent reputation for fair dealing.该商店因买卖公道而享有极高的声誉。
  • His fair dealing earned our confidence.他的诚实的行为获得我们的信任。
6 byline sSXyQ     
  • His byline was absent as well.他的署名也不见了。
  • We wish to thank the author of this article which carries no byline.我们要感谢这篇文章的那位没有署名的作者。
7 warfare XhVwZ     
  • He addressed the audience on the subject of atomic warfare.他向听众演讲有关原子战争的问题。
  • Their struggle consists mainly in peasant guerrilla warfare.他们的斗争主要是农民游击战。
8 artillery 5vmzA     
  • This is a heavy artillery piece.这是一门重炮。
  • The artillery has more firepower than the infantry.炮兵火力比步兵大。
9 specialized Chuzwe     
  • There are many specialized agencies in the United Nations.联合国有许多专门机构。
  • These tools are very specialized.这些是专用工具。
10 goggles hsJzYP     
  • Skiers wear goggles to protect their eyes from the sun.滑雪者都戴上护目镜使眼睛不受阳光伤害。
  • My swimming goggles keep steaming up so I can't see.我的护目镜一直有水雾,所以我看不见。
11 scenarios f7c7eeee199dc0ef47fe322cc223be88     
  • Further, graphite cores may be safer than non-graphite cores under some accident scenarios. 再者,根据一些事故解说,石墨堆芯可比非石墨堆芯更安全一些。 来自英汉非文学 - 环境法 - 环境法
  • Again, scenarios should make it clear which modes are acceptable to users in various contexts. 同样,我们可以运用场景剧本来搞清楚在不同情境下哪些模式可被用户接受。 来自About Face 3交互设计精髓
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