HONG KONG — For North Korea experts, virtually every detail in the authoritarian state is a potential window into the political priorities of its elusive leader, Kim Jong-un.
香港——对朝鲜问题专家来说,这个威权主义国家的几乎每一个细节都可能是了解其难以琢磨的领导人金正恩的政治重点的窗口。
A mass gymnastics performance that ended in North Korea on Sunday, after a nearly two-month run, was no exception: Unlike in previous years, this year’s edition was said to highlight recent changes in Mr. Kim’s posture toward China, South Korea and the United States.
朝鲜上周日结束的大型团体操表演也不例外,这个表演已经上演快两个月了。与往年不同,今年的表演据说强调了金正恩最近对中国、韩国和美国态度的转变。
Jump Around Dept.: What Are the Mass Games?
蹦蹦跳跳:大型团体操表演是怎么回事?
This year’s Mass Games gymnastics bonanza, which began in early September in the capital, Pyongyang, was the first edition of the event since 2013. Along with a military parade in September, it marked the 70th anniversary of the founding of North Korea.
今年的大型团体操表演于9月初在首都平壤开始,是2013年以来首次重新编排的新版本。新版本以及今年9月举行的阅兵式都是为了纪念朝鲜建国70周年。
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The performance, “Glorious Country,” featured about 17,000 schoolchildren who formed a “human-pixel” backdrop with colored cards in the stands, plus thousands of performers on the arena’s floor, according to Andray Abrahamian, a fellow at Stanford University and the author of a book on North Korea who attended the show in September.
据今年9月在朝鲜观看过表演的安德雷·阿布拉哈米安(Andray Abrahamian)说,这个名为“辉煌的祖国”的团体操表演包括一支约17000名学生的队伍,他们在看台上用不同颜色的卡片构成了一个“真人像素”背景,还有数千名表演者在体育馆的地板上翩翩起舞。阿布拉哈米安是斯坦福大学的一名研究员,写过一本关于朝鲜的著作
A banner at the show also read, “From now, a new history begins.” Mr. Abrahamian said that was an apparent reference to an April declaration by Mr. Kim and President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, in which the two leaders agreed to work to remove all nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula and, within the year, pursue talks with the United States to declare an official end to the Korean War.
表演打出的一幅横幅上还写着“新的历史从现在开始”的字样,阿布拉哈米安说,这显然指的是金正恩和韩国总统文在寅今年4月发布的宣言,这两位领导人同意为在朝鲜半岛上消除所有核武器而共同努力,还表示要在一年内就宣布朝鲜战争正式结束一事与美国进行谈判。
今年的大型团体操表演是2013年以来首次重新编排的新版本。
今年的大型团体操表演是2013年以来首次重新编排的新版本。 Ed Jones/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Tilting Toward Peace: Missiles Missing From Games
倾向和平:导弹从表演中消失了
The choreography of this year’s Mass Games presented the Kim regime’s vision of its own history, in keeping with the style of previous years. Yet it also told “a significantly more positive, forward-looking and less militaristic tale” than the 2013 edition, Mr. Abrahamian wrote in a commentary on the website 38 North.
今年的团体操编排展示了金正恩政权对自己历史的想像,这与往年的形式一样。但今年的表演与2013年的版本相比,也讲述了“一个明显更积极、更向前看、更少军国主义的故事”,阿布拉哈米安在“三八线北”(38 North)网站上发表的一篇评论文章中写道。
And unlike previous shows, he added, it did not include a single image of a missile.
他还说,与以前的表演不同,今年的表演中没有出现导弹的图片。
Nancy Snow, a North Korea expert at Kyoto University of Foreign Studies and a former State Department official in the Clinton administration, said the lack of militaristic symbols at this year’s event might reflect Mr. Kim’s growing awareness that reprising the missile tests of 2017 would probably not help his regime’s international image.
京都外国语大学(Kyoto University of Foreign Studies)朝鲜问题专家、曾在克林顿政府的国务院任职的南希·斯诺(Nancy Snow)说,今年的表演没有使用军国主义象征,这也许反映了金正恩越来越多地意识到,重复2017年的导弹试验可能无助于自己政权的国际形象。
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“I don’t think he’s going to give up his weapons anytime soon, but slowly, surely, they’re going to introduce themselves more to the world,” she said. “And this is one way they do that.”
“我不认为他会很快放弃他手中的武器,但他们会慢慢地、无疑更多地向世界介绍自己,”她说。“这是他们介绍自己的一种方式。”
A New Face: Xi Jinping Depicted for the First Time
一个新面孔:习近平的肖像首次出现
This year represented the first time that a rendering of President Xi Jinping of China was featured at the games. His portrait appeared on the human pixel board at the show’s finale on Sunday, when a delegation of well-known Chinese singers, actors and other artists were in the audience, according to NK News, an independent news site covering North Korea.
今年的表演上首次出现了中国国家主席习近平的肖像。据专门报道朝鲜消息的独立网站“朝鲜新闻”(NK News),一个由中国著名歌手、演员和其他艺术家组成的代表团观看了周日的表演,在演出快结束时,真人像素版上出现了习近平的肖像。
Notably, Mr. Xi was depicted inside a gold-framed circle surrounded by red — the same style previously used to depict Mr. Kim’s father, Kim Jong-il, and grandfather, Kim Il-sung.
值得注意的是,习近平的肖像镶在一个金边红底的框子里——这与以往显示金正恩的父亲金正日、祖父金日成的肖像的方式一样。
“Given how inimitably serious the North Koreans are about their two prior leaders, framing Xi Jinping that way can only be read as a signal of extreme respect,” Mr. Abrahamian said in an email. “It is nearly reverent.”
“考虑到朝鲜人对他们以前的两位领导人无与伦比的严肃态度,用这种形式展示习近平的肖像只能被解读为释放了一种极端尊重的信号,”阿布拉哈米安在电子邮件中说。“这简直近乎虔诚。”
Mr. Abrahamian said he read the gesture as a dramatic step in North Korea’s “assiduous fence-mending campaign” toward China — five years after relations between the neighboring countries were strained because of North Korea’s 2013 nuclear test and its purge of Jang Song-thaek, Kim Jong-un’s uncle, who had wielded significant influence over North Korean coal exports to China.
阿布拉哈米安说,他把这个做法解读为朝鲜“努力修复”同中国关系的戏剧性一步,因为朝鲜在2013年进行了核试验,中朝关系五年前开始变得紧张,朝鲜后来还清洗了金正恩的姑父张成泽,张成泽曾对朝鲜向中国出口煤炭产生过相当大的影响。
韩国总统文在寅在朝鲜9月份的一场大型团体操表演上发表演讲。
韩国总统文在寅在朝鲜9月份的一场大型团体操表演上发表演讲。 Pyongyang Press Corps Pool
Cheers for Peace: Moon Makes a Cameo
为和平欢呼:文在寅客串登台
During a September performance of “Glorious Country,” Mr. Moon, the South Korean president, appeared beside Mr. Kim at the games and addressed the audience, according to the Yonhap news agency.
韩联社报道,在9月份的一场“辉煌的祖国”表演中,韩国总统文在寅与金正恩一起在现场出现,并向观众发表了讲话。
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“I propose that we should completely end the past 70 years of hostility and take a big stride of peace to become one again,” Mr. Moon said at one point in his speech, which was also broadcast live in South Korea.
“我提议,我们应该彻底结束过去70年的敌意,大步迈向和平,重新成为一个国家,”文在寅在讲话中说,韩国对这个讲话进行了直播。
Mr. Abrahamian said the speech could be seen as a “semiformal” acknowledgment by North Korea of Mr. Moon’s authority, as well as a sign that Mr. Kim trusts Mr. Moon to “deliver a message that was not too provocative and would keep the inter-Korean relationship moving forward in a way both leaders found agreeable.”
阿布拉哈米安说,让他发表讲话可以看作是“朝鲜对文在寅权威的半正式承认”,也表明金正恩信任文在寅会“传递一个不太挑衅的信息,传递一个以双方领导人都可以接受的方式保持朝韩关系继续向前发展的信息”。
But it was also notable, he added, that Mr. Moon’s image was shown in a video as he stood with Mr. Kim — and not in the same “iconic” portrait style reserved for Mr. Xi.
但阿布拉哈米安补充说,值得注意的是,文在寅与金正恩站在一起的时候,文在寅的形象出现在了一段视频里,但不是以保留给习近平的那种“偶像式的”肖像形式。
Soo Kim, a former North Korea analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency, said that the public display of support for China at the Glorious Country games was a signal to Washington that Beijing would probably take Pyongyang’s side in negotiations over the North’s nuclear program “when push comes to shove.”
美国中央情报局的前朝鲜问题分析师金洙(Soo Kim,音)说,在“辉煌的祖国”大型团体操表演中公开展示拥护中国,是在向华盛顿发信号,表示北京可能会在朝鲜核项目谈判的“紧要关头”站在平壤一边。
Mike Pompeo, the United States secretary of state, is scheduled to meet with North Korean officials in New York later this week, and Ms. Kim, the analyst, said that the Kim regime was probably trying to express its dissatisfaction with how the nuclear talks have stalled.
美国国务卿迈克·庞皮欧(Mike Pompeo)已定于本周晚些时候在纽约与朝鲜官员会晤。分析师金洙说,金正恩政权可能要在会晤时试图对核谈判陷入僵局表示不满。
“This is not only frustrating for the U.S. and South Korea; it’s also not where Kim Jong-un would like to be,” she added. “The U.S. and North Korea have been going back and forth, with neither side willing to budge over denuclearization, easing of sanctions or even a declaration to end the Korean War.”
“这不仅对美国和韩国来说令人沮丧,这也不是金正恩希望处于的境地,”金洙说。“美国和朝鲜一直在来回反复,双方都不愿在无核化、放松制裁,甚至宣布结束朝鲜战争等问题上让步。”