SEOUL, South Korea — For years, Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader, has been cracking down on USB flash drives that activists smuggle into his isolated country to poison his people’s minds with outside influences, like South Korean K-pop music.

韩国首尔——多年来,朝鲜领导人金正恩一直在打击活动人士向他的孤立国家走私USB闪存盘的行动,以防他的人民的思想受到外界、比如韩国流行音乐的影响。

But last month, when he met with the South’s president, Moon Jae-in, Mr. Moon handed him a USB drive that contained quite a different message.

但上个月,当他与韩国总统会面时,文在寅一个把带着相当不同信息的U盘交给了金正恩。

In charts and video clips, Mr. Moon’s memory stick laid out a “new economic map for the Korean Peninsula,” including new railways and power plants for the impoverished North, should Mr. Kim abandon his nuclear weapons, according to South Korean officials.

据韩国官员说,在闪存盘上,文在寅用图表和视频片段展示了一幅“为朝鲜半岛设想的新的经济版图”,包括为贫困的朝鲜修建新的铁路和发电厂,前提是如果金正恩放弃核武器的话。

Mr. Moon based his sales pitch on the belief that Mr. Kim wants to become the North Korean equivalent of Deng Xiaoping, who oversaw the economic liberalization of China. In this view, Mr. Kim may be willing to transform his pariah state by trading in his nuclear arsenal for diplomatic and economic incentives he needs to achieve prosperity.

文在寅推销的宣传基于这样一个信念,那就是,金正恩想成为朝鲜版的邓小平,邓小平领导了中国的经济自由化。这个信念认为,为了改变他那被国际社会遗弃的国家,金正恩也许愿意拿自己的核武库做交易,以换取为实现繁荣所需的外交和经济鼓励。

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It is a premise that will be tested when President Trump meets with Mr. Kim in a few weeks’ time. When Mr. Moon met with Mr. Kim on the inter-Korean border on April 27 to help set up the North Korea-United States summit, he handed over the USB drive to illustrate what benefits awaited Mr. Kim should he denuclearize.

这个假设将在几周后特朗普总统与金正恩会面时得到检验。文在寅于4月27日在朝韩边境上与金正恩会面,帮助安排朝美峰会时,为了向金正恩说明如果去核化会得到什么好处,把这个U盘交给了金正恩。 

“Kim Jong-un’s desire to develop his country’s economy is as strong as, and even stronger than, his desire for nuclear weapons,” said Lee Jong-seok, a former unification minister of South Korea. “But he knows he cannot achieve the kind of rapid economic growth in China that he envisions for his country while keeping his nuclear weapons — because of the sanctions.”

“金正恩有发展本国经济的渴望,这种渴望与他的核武器渴望一样强烈,甚至更强烈,”韩国前统一部部长李钟奭(Lee Jong-seok)说。“但他知道,如果他保留核武器的话,由于国际制裁,他无法实现他为自己的国家所设想的、像中国那样的经济快速增长。”

Skeptics doubt Mr. Kim’s xenophobic regime will ever surrender its nuclear deterrent.

持怀疑态度的人不相信金正恩的仇外政权会有朝一日放弃自己的核威慑。

But since the inter-Korean summit meeting, many South Koreans have started to believe that Mr. Kim is a “trustworthy” reformer, according to recent surveys. A growing number of South Korean analysts have also begun arguing that Mr. Kim wants to follow the model of the South’s own past military dictators who focused on economic prosperity, or that Mr. Kim has convinced himself from China’s experience that he can pursue economic growth while maintaining one-party rule.

但最近的调查显示,自从韩朝峰会以来,许多韩国人开始相信金正恩是一个“值得信赖的”改革者。越来越多的韩国分析人士也开始认为,金正恩或想采用韩国过去的军事独裁者把注意力放在繁荣经济上的模式,或已经被中国的经验说服,他可以在保持一党统治的同时追求经济增长。

2016年,朝鲜的一条高速路。金正恩在与文在寅的会谈中承认,朝鲜的道路和铁路状况“令人尴尬”。
2016年,朝鲜的一条高速路。金正恩在与文在寅的会谈中承认,朝鲜的道路和铁路状况“令人尴尬”。 Ed Jones/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Such a theory was much harder to sell just months ago, when the 34-year-old North Korean was more often depicted as a bloodthirsty dictator and nuclear provocateur.

就在几个月前,这种理论还很难被人接受。那时,这位34岁的朝鲜领导人常常被描绘成一个嗜杀成性的独裁者和核挑衅者。

Since taking power in 2011, Mr. Kim has executed scores of top officials, including his own uncle. He has also tested a hydrogen bomb and long-range missiles, claiming that he could hit the mainland United States with nuclear warheads.

自从2011年掌权以来,金正恩已经处决了几十名高级官员,其中包括自己的姑父。他还进行了一次氢弹试验以及多次远程导弹试验,并声称他能用核弹头打击美国大陆。

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Vilified as he was, however, Mr. Kim has also shown signs of being a reformer, granting farms and factories more autonomy, allowing more markets to open, and setting off a building boom in his showcase capital, Pyongyang. He exhorts his country to follow “international development trends” and “global standards” and even admits failing to deliver on his promise that his long-suffering people would “no longer have to tighten their belts.”

尽管人们这样看他,但金正恩还是表现出了许多要当改革家的迹象,他已经赋予农场和工厂更多的自主权,允许设立更多的市场,并在自己的橱窗首都平壤掀起了一场建设热潮。他敦促自己的国家紧跟“国际发展趋势”和“世界水平”,甚至承认未能兑现自己对长期吃苦受难的人民作出的“不再需要勒紧裤带”的承诺。

“My desires were burning all the time, but I spent the past year feeling anxious and remorseful for the lack of my ability,” Mr. Kim said in a nationally broadcast speech last year, a startling admission for a member of the family that has ruled North Korea with the help of a personality cult since its founding in 1948.

“我的愿望每时每刻都是火热的,但在过去一年里,我因为自己的能力不足,沉浸在焦虑和悔恨之中,”金正恩在去年的一次对全国广播的讲话中说,对自1948年成立以来一直借助个人崇拜统治朝鲜的家族的一员来说,这是一次惊人的承认。

After meeting him, Mr. Moon called Mr. Kim “open-minded and practical.”

与金正恩会面后,文在寅称金正恩“思想开放和务实”。

Nowhere is Mr. Kim’s dilemma better seen than in his policy of “byungjin,” or parallel advance, which seeks a nuclear arsenal and economic development simultaneously. Under that policy, Mr. Kim has rapidly developed his country’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, arguing that a nuclear deterrent would make his country feel secure enough to focus on rebuilding the economy. But the world has responded by imposing crippling sanctions.

金正恩的困境在他的“并进”政策中得到了再好不过的表现,该政策寻求经济与核武库的并行发展。在这个政策指导下,金正恩迅速发展了朝鲜的核武器和弹道导弹项目,他认为,核威慑能力将让他的国家有足够的安全感,从而能把精力放在重建经济上。但是,国际社会对此的响应是采取严厉的制裁措施。

“Kim Jong-un is at a crossroads,” said Cheong Seong-chang, a senior analyst at the Sejong Institute in Seoul, South Korea’s capital. “He could advance his nuclear weapons program further and face a deeper isolation and possible economic ruin. Or he could use it as a bargaining card to win normalized ties and a peace treaty with the United States and economic recovery.”

“金正恩正处在一个十字路口上,”位于韩国首都首尔的世宗研究院(Sejong Institute)高级分析师郑相昌(Cheong Seong-chang)说。“他可以进一步推进他的核武器计划,从而面临更严重的孤立和可能的经济毁灭。或者,他也可以把核武器作为一种讨价还价的砝码,以换取与美国关系的正常化、和平条约和经济复苏。”

If Mr. Kim pursues the route of economic reform, energy and transport are the two areas where he most needs outside help. In his meeting with Mr. Moon, Mr. Kim admitted to the “embarrassing” condition of his roads and railways, South Korean officials said.

如果金正恩坚持经济改革的路线,能源和交通是他最需要外界帮助的两个领域。韩国官员说,金正恩在与文在寅的会谈中承认,朝鲜的道路和铁路状况“令人尴尬”。

Trains running on electricity remain North Korea’s main means of transport, carrying 90 percent of its cargo and 60 percent of its passenger traffic, according to Ahn Byung-min, a senior analyst at the South’s government-funded Korea Transport Institute. But its rail systems are so decrepit that its fastest train, which runs to the Chinese border from Pyongyang, travels at 28 miles an hour. Other trains run at less than half that speed, Mr. Ahn said.

电气化铁路仍然是朝鲜的主要交通工具,承载着90%的货运量和60%的客流量,安炳民(Ahn Byung-min)说,他是韩国政府支持的韩国运输研究所(Korea transport Institute)的高级分析师。但朝鲜的铁路系统非常落后,运行于平壤和中国边境之间的列车是其最快的列车,这趟车每小时的速度只有45公里。安炳民说,其他列车的速度还不到这个的一半。

位于朝鲜首都平壤天际线之上的发电厂的烟囱。由于缺乏现金来进口石油,朝鲜从水电大坝和燃煤电厂生产所有的电力。
位于朝鲜首都平壤天际线之上的发电厂的烟囱。由于缺乏现金来进口石油,朝鲜从水电大坝和燃煤电厂生产所有的电力。 Ed Jones/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Lacking cash for oil imports, North Korea produces all its electricity from hydroelectric dams and coal-burning power plants. But the country’s power industry is trapped in a vicious cycle, energy experts say. Chronic electricity shortages make it difficult to produce coal and transport it to power plants. People in search of firewood for heat and cooking have denuded their hills, causing floods and droughts and making silt pile up at dams. That cuts down hydroelectric generation.

由于缺乏进口石油的外汇,朝鲜的电力全部来自水电站和燃煤发电厂。但能源专家说,朝鲜的电力行业正陷入一个恶性循环。长期的电力短缺让煤炭生产以及将煤炭运到发电厂变得困难。需要用柴火取暖做饭的人们已经把朝鲜的山变成了荒山,导致洪水和干旱,也导致泥沙在大坝下面堆积,降低了水力发电的能力。

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North Korea’s electricity generation amounts to only 4.4 percent of South Korea’s, according to Park Eun-jeong, an analyst at the South’s Korea Development Bank. The country prioritizes supplying electricity to lighting statues of Mr. Kim’s father and grandfather, who had ruled before him, while passengers wait for hours in trains unable to move because of power shortages, according to defectors from the country.

据韩国国家开发银行(Korea Development Bank)分析师朴恩正(Park Eun-jeong,音)的说法,朝鲜的发电量只相当于韩国的4.4%。脱北者说,朝鲜把电力优先提供给为金正恩的父亲和祖父的雕像照明,他们在金正恩之前统治过朝鲜,与此同时,乘客们只好在火车站上长时间地等待因电力不足而迟迟不来的列车。

“Electricity is the Achilles’ heel for North Korea,” said Lee Jong-heon, an energy analyst in Seoul.

“电力是朝鲜的致命弱点,”首尔的能源分析师李忠宪(Lee Jong-heon,音)说。

Mr. Moon’s proposal to modernize the North’s roads and railways and link them to the South’s is not just meant to help North Korea.

文在寅为朝鲜公路和铁路实现现代化、把它们与韩国的系统连接起来的提议,不仅仅是为了帮助朝鲜。

South Korean policymakers say that the two Koreas must first integrate their economies to make the eventual reunification less chaotic. They also envision building trans-Korean railways to find faster and cheaper routes to export South Korean goods to China, Russia and Europe, and bring Russian oil and gas into the South through pipelines for its power-hungry economy.

韩国政策制定者说,朝鲜和韩国必须先在经济上实现一体化,才能在最终实现统一时不发生太多的混乱。他们也设想通过建设横贯朝鲜半岛的铁路来寻找向中国、俄罗斯和欧洲出口韩国产品的更快、成本更低的途径,同时通过建设管道把俄罗斯的石油和天然气输送到韩国,以满足其经济的能源需求。

But that is unlikely to happen until the North denuclearizes.

但这一切都不太可能发生,除非朝鲜实现无核化。

In 2007, the two Koreas temporarily connected two short stretches of railway across their border, but further efforts to reconnect the two systems have been suspended amid rising tensions over the North’s nuclear program. In 2004, South Korea opened a joint industrial park in the North Korean town of Kaesong and sent electricity to run it. But the park was closed after the North’s nuclear test in 2016.

2007年,朝鲜和韩国曾暂时性地把两小段铁路跨越边界连接起来,但由于朝鲜核项目的紧张局势不断升级,重新连接两国铁路系统的进一步努力一直处于搁置状态。2004年,韩国在朝鲜的开城工业园区设立了一个联合工业园,并为其运作提供了电力。但朝鲜在2016年进行了核试验后,该园区被关闭了

Now, with Mr. Kim reportedly willing to discuss denuclearization, there are renewed hopes in the South.

如今,受有关金正恩愿意讨论无核化的报道的鼓舞,韩国重新燃起了希望。

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“Reunification can start with reconnecting energy and transport lines of the two Koreas,” said Mr. Lee.

“半岛统一可以从重新连接两国的能源和运输线路开始,”李忠宪说。