SEOUL, South Korea — It was the most sensational defection by North Koreans in years: In April 2016, South Korea announced that 12 young waitresses and their male manager, all members of North Korea’s elite, deserted their government-run restaurant in China and fled to the South.
韩国首尔——这是多年来最轰动的一场朝鲜人脱北行动:2016年4月,韩国宣布12名年轻女服务员以及她们的男性经理离开朝鲜政府在中国经营的餐厅,逃到韩国。13人全部出身朝鲜的权贵阶层。
Now, in a tale with echoes of a spy thriller, the manager and three of the women claim that the waitresses did not even know they were going to South Korea when the manager took them out of China at the behest of the South’s National Intelligence Service.
现在故事有了间谍惊悚片般的后续,这位经理和其中三名女性都声称,当经理在韩国国家情报院的指示下将女服务员带出中国时,她们根本不知道是要去韩国。
“It was luring and kidnapping, and I know because I took the lead,” said the manager, Heo Kang-il, during an interview on the South Korean cable channel JTBC on Thursday night.
“我知道这是诱拐和绑架,因为是我领头的,”经理许姜日(Heo Kang-il,音)于周四晚接受韩国有线台JTBC采访时说。
If true, the revelation would support North Korea’s long-standing accusation that the South Korean spy agency had kidnapped its citizens. It would also further taint the reputation of the spy agency, which has long been accused of meddling in domestic politics and fabricating espionage cases in the name of fighting the communist North.
如果属实,这次披露意味着多年来朝鲜对韩国间谍机构绑架其公民的指控属实。它还会进一步败坏该机构的声誉,长期以来,这个韩国间谍机构被指控干涉国内政治,乃至以打击共产主义朝鲜为由捏造间谍案件。
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“I want to go home because living like this is not the life I wanted,” said one of the three women, who were all interviewed by JTBC. “I miss my parents.”
“我想回家,因为这样的生活不是我想要的生活,”三位女性中的一位接受了JTBC采访。“我想念父母。”
JTBC did not reveal the names of the three women and also blurred their faces, as well as Heo’s, to protect their identities. But it showed what it said were copies of the 12 women’s North Korean passports, as well as their flight reservations when they left China.
JTBC没有透露这三位女性的姓名,还虚化了她们以及许姜日的面孔,以保护他们的身份。但它展示了它声称的这12名女性的朝鲜护照复印件以及她们离开中国时的航班预订记录。
South Korea’s Unification Ministry is checking “the new allegations,” its spokesman, Baik Tae-hyun, said Friday.
韩国统一部(South Korea’s Unification Ministry)发言人白泰铉(Baik Tae-hyun)周五表示,该机构正在调查“这项新指控”。
But Baik admitted that when his ministry announced in 2016 that the women had arrived in South Korea of their own free will, it was just relaying information it received from the intelligence agency.
不过,白泰铉承认,韩国统一部2016年宣布这些女性是自愿来到韩国时,只是在转达他们从韩国国家情报院得到的信息。
The National Intelligence Service said it was “closely reviewing” the JTBC report. Until now, the agency has dismissed as North Korean propaganda allegations that the women were taken to the South against their will.
韩国国家情报院表示,他们正在“密切审查”JTBC的报告。到目前为止,该机构否认了朝鲜的宣传指控,也就是,这些女性是在违背意愿的情况下被带到韩国的。
The case of the 12 women, all in their 20s or 30s, presents a thorny problem for President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, who held a summit meeting with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, last month to discuss improving ties. Kim’s government has long demanded the women’s repatriation. But the South has always denied abducting North Koreans, saying that about 30,000 North Koreans who have arrived in the South since the 1990s were defectors.
这12名女性都是20多岁或30多岁。对韩国总统文在寅(Moon Jae-in)来说,这是个棘手的事件。上个月,文在寅与朝鲜领导人金正恩(Kim Jong Un)举行了一次首脑会议,讨论如何改善两国关系。长期以来,金正恩政府一直要求遣返这些女性。但韩国一直否认绑架了他们,称自1990年代以来,来到韩国的约3万名朝鲜人都是自愿脱北的。
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The women were among tens of thousands of North Koreans working abroad who funnel badly needed foreign currency to their government. The North selects loyal and relatively affluent citizens to send abroad as workers, and the defection of the 12 women was a major coup for Park Geun-hye, who was South Korea’s president at the time and whose conservative government cited it as a sign of disillusionment with Kim among North Korean elites.
这些女性和数万名朝鲜人一样,在国外工作、为朝鲜政府赚取急需的外汇。朝鲜挑选了一些相对富裕的忠诚公民,送到国外当工人。这12名女性的脱北行动是时任韩国总统朴槿惠(Park Geun-hye)的重大胜利,她领导的保守派政府将这件事作为朝鲜权贵阶层对金正恩感到幻灭的证据。
But many details of the defection remained a mystery and fueled suspicion, including how the restaurant workers managed to plot their escape despite being trained to spy on one another for signs of disloyalty. They also arrived in South Korea only two days after they fled their restaurant in the Chinese city of Ningbo, in the eastern province of Zhejiang. Other defectors usually took months to complete the trip to South Korea, often trekking through the jungles of Southeast Asia with the help of human traffickers.
但这次脱北行动的许多细节依然是谜,引发了人们的怀疑,比如,这些餐馆员工都接受过训练,相互监视有无背叛迹象,所以不知她们是如何成功策划逃跑计划的。他们在逃离中国东部浙江省宁波市的餐馆两天后就抵达了韩国。而其他脱北者通常要花费数月时间才能到达韩国,往往是在人贩子的帮助下,长途跋涉,穿越东南亚的丛林。
Park’s government also took the highly unusual step of announcing their defection the day after their arrival. But it kept their whereabouts secret and blocked human rights lawyers from meeting with them. It also denied the North’s claim that the waitresses’ manager had conspired with the South Korean spy agency to take them to the South after telling them that they were being relocated to a restaurant in Southeast Asia.
他们抵达韩国那天,朴槿惠的政府也采取了极不寻常的举动,宣布了他们的脱北。但是,该政府对他们的行踪保密,还阻止人权律师与他们会面。朝鲜称,那名经理与韩国情报机构合谋,骗她们说要把她们安置到东南亚的一个餐馆,实际上把她们带到了韩国,朴槿惠政府对此予以否认。
But Heo says that was exactly what happened. Like other North Korean workers abroad, the women were trained to obey their manager, who held their passports.
但许姜日说,那正是所发生的事情。与其他在国外工作的朝鲜人一样,这些女子接受的训练是服从她们的经理,她们的护照在经理手中。
“I just told them that we were moving to a new place,” he told JTBC.
“我只需要告诉她们我们要搬到一个新的地方去,”他对JTBC说。
Heo said he decided to spy for the National Intelligence Service in 2014 after Kim Jong Un executed his own uncle, Jang Song-thaek, on sedition and corruption charges. Heo said he became disillusioned with Kim after five of his former classmates were executed in a purge of officials close to Jang.
许姜日说,2014年金正恩以煽动叛乱和腐败的罪名处决了自己的姑父张成泽(Jang Song-thaek)后,他决定给韩国国家情报院当间谍。许姜日说,五名他以前的同学在清洗张成泽圈子官员的行动中被处决后,他对金正恩不再报有幻想。
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Heo said he met a South Korean agent in a motel in China, signed a letter of allegiance, and had his picture taken with a South Korean flag as proof that he would not betray the agency.
许姜日说,他在中国的一个汽车旅馆与一名韩国特工见了面,在一份效忠信上签了名,还站在韩国国旗前拍了照,作为他不会背叛该机构的证明。
But his spying was exposed in 2016, and when he asked his contact at the National Intelligence Service to help him defect, the official ordered him to bring the women with him. Heo said he was promised big rewards, like a medal and a government job.
但他的间谍活动在2016年被曝光,当他要求他在韩国国家情报院的联络员帮助他叛逃时,那位官员命令他把这些女子一起带过来。许姜日说,该人向他承诺了大奖励,比如一枚奖章和一个政府工作岗位。
“He said this was an operation approved by President Park and everyone was waiting for me,” Heo said of his contact at the intelligence agency. “He threatened that if I did not bring the women with me, he would report me to the North Korean Embassy.”
“他说,这是朴槿惠总统批准的行动,所有的人都在等待着我的行动,”许姜日提到他在情报院的联系员时说。“他威胁说,如果我不把那些女子带过来的话,他会向朝鲜大使馆告发我。”
The three women interviewed by JTBC said they “never imagined” they were being taken to South Korea.
接受JTBC采访的三名女子表示,她们“从未想到”她们会被带到韩国来。
Only when they landed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Heo took them to the South Korean embassy by taxi did they realize that something had gone wrong, they said.
她们说,只是在飞机在马来西亚吉隆坡降落后,许姜日让她们上了出租车,把她们带到韩国大使馆时,她们才意识到事情不对头。
When they balked at entering, they said Heo threatened to tell North Korean authorities that they often watched South Korean movies in China, a serious crime for North Korean workers abroad.
她们说,当她们拒绝进入使馆时,许姜日威胁要告诉朝鲜当局,她们在中国经常看韩国电影,朝鲜在海外工作人员看韩国电影是严重的罪行。
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“I blackmailed them and told them to make a choice: ‘If you return home, you die, and if you follow me, you live,'” Heo said. “I am now remorseful for what I did.”
“我要挟她们,让她们做出选择:‘如果你回去,你会死;如果你跟我走,你能活,’”许姜日说。“我现在对我当时做的事情感到懊悔。”
Inside the embassy, the women signed statements that they were defecting of their own free will.
在韩国大使馆里,这些女子签署了声明,说她们的叛逃是自由自愿的。
They said working in China had been their dream because they could earn in a month what they made in a year in North Korea. It was also their only chance to travel outside their isolated, impoverished country.
她们说,在中国工作一直是她们的梦想,因为在中国,她们能在一个月里挣到她们在朝鲜工作一年挣的钱。那也是她们到自己与世隔绝的贫穷国家之外旅行的唯一机会。
Now in South Korea against their will but unable to return home, they said that they have struggled to adjust, attending schools, working part-time jobs and learning to speak with a South Korean accent. They said they hid their identities and refused until now to reveal their ordeal to avoid harming their parents in the North, where families of defectors are often treated as traitors.
现在,她们身不由己地到了韩国,却不能返回朝鲜,她们说,她们一直在努力适应生活,一边念书、一边做兼职工作,还在学习说韩国口音的朝语。她们说,为了避免伤害她们在朝鲜的父母,她们隐瞒了自己的身份,直到现在才将她们的经历公诸于世。在朝鲜,脱北者的家人通常被视为叛国者。
“It has been so hard for me because I wanted to tell my parents that I am OK, but I can’t,” one woman said.
“对我来说真的很痛苦,因为我想告诉父母,我一切平安,但我不能那样做,”一名女子说。
Heo said he decided to speak out because after he defected, Park was impeached and the intelligence agency never gave him the rewards it had promised. He said he also realized, after arriving in the South, that the timing of the group’s defection was moved up more than a month to help rally conservative votes in parliamentary elections.
许姜日说,他决定把这件事公开,因为他叛逃之后,朴槿惠遭到弹劾,情报院从未兑现奖励他的承诺。他说,抵达韩国之后,他还发现,为了帮助保守派在议会选举中拉选票,这组人叛逃的时间被提前了一个多月。
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“They had me believe that this was a big patriotic operation,” he said. “But they used me and then shot me in the back.”
“他们让我以为这是一次伟大的爱国行动,”他说。“但他们利用了我,然后在我背后对我开枪。”