DIA: North Korea Planned Attacks on US Nuclear Plants

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Five commando units trained for strikes, sabotage

BY: Bill Gertz

North Korea dispatched covert commando teams to the United States in the 1990s to attack nuclear power plants and major cities in a conflict, according to a declassified Defense Intelligence Agency report.

The DIA report, dated Sept. 13, 2004, reveals that five units of covert commandos were trained for the attacks inside the country.

According to the report, the “Reconnaissance Bureau, North Korea, had agents in place to attack American nuclear power plants.”

The document states that the North Korean Ministry of People’s Armed Forces, the ministry in charge of the military, “established five liaison offices in the early 1990s, to train and infiltrate operatives into the United States to attack nuclear power plants and major cities in case of hostilities.”

“One of the driving forces behind the establishment of the units and infiltration of operatives was the slow progress in developing a multi-stage ballistic missile.”

North Korea is known to have at least two long-range missiles capable of hitting the United States, the Taepodong-2 intercontinental ballistic missile, and the KN-08 road-mobile ICBM, which has not yet been flight tested.

The report indicates that power plants would be targeted for attack “in the event of hostilities between the United States and DPRK” – the acronym for the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea.

The Reconnaissance Bureau is part of the Ministry of People’s Armed Forces and is in charge of the estimated 60,000 North Korean special operations commandos.

The heavily redacted report is what is known as a raw intelligence report, consisting of information possibly provided to the United States by a defector or agent, or possibly obtained from electronic surveillance.

Reconnaissance Bureau commandos have undertaken terrorist operations in the past in South Korea and other locations.

But the DIA report is the first intelligence document indicating North Korea had planned attacks inside the United States and dispatched agents for the operations.

Disclosure of the report, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, comes amid threats by presumed North Korean agents to conduct September 11-style terrorist attacks against U.S. movie theaters.

The threats coincided with efforts by North Korea to prevent the showing Dec. 25 of the Sony Pictures film “The Interview,” a comedy involving a fictional plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The U.S. government determined that the massive hack targeting against Sony, which stole an estimated 100 terabytes of data including unreleased films, has been determined to be the work of North Korean hackers or those working for the regime of Kim Jong Un.

S.Y. Lee, a Department Homeland Security spokesman, declined to comment on the 2004 document.

A DHS official said the department is aware of the threat to attack movie theaters.

“We are still analyzing the credibility of these statements, but at this time there is no credible intelligence to indicate an active plot against movie theaters within the United States,” the official said.

The official said DHS will adjust its security procedures to protect Americans.

“This includes continued, regular information sharing with our state, local, federal and international partners, builds on ongoing work, such as enhanced protection at federal facilities,” the official said, adding that the public is encouraged to report suspicious activity to law enforcement agencies.

The FBI, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, said it was unaware of the DIA intelligence report on North Korean commando teams. In a July 9, 2012 letter, the FBI stated that it was unable to find any file records on North Korea’s Reconnaissance Bureau.

An FBI spokesman had no immediate comment. A DIA spokesman did not return emails seeking comment on the documents.

A second DIA document reveals that an American defector identified only as “Jackson” and as a former Air Force officer was working inside North Korea for the Reconnaissance Bureau.

The 1998 document stated that the officer had been “captured by North Korea” and was teaching North Koreans “U.S. Special Forces tactics, English [language], and interrogation techniques as chief of psychological operations studies at Madonghui Military College to North Korean seaborne snipers.”

The American also “visited the 52nd Seaborne Sniper Battalion to teach U.S. Special Forces tactics, American English, and interrogation techniques since before 1983,” the report said, noting that the training was carried out under the Reconnaissance Bureau.

The reference to “American English” is an indication the training may have been preparation for the future dispatch of North Korean snipers to the United States.

Mark Sauter, a security adviser to corporations and long-time North Korea watcher said the documents clearly raise alarms about whether North Korea could follow through on threats to conduct 9/11-style terrorist attacks.

“What they’ve done by the Sony hack is shown they’re certainly willing to attack a U.S. corporation,” said Sauter, who obtained the documents. “Now they’re threating a physical attack along the lines of 9/11 and it is certainly possible they could have agents inside the United States capable of carrying out terrorist attacks.”

“North Korean agents have committed terrorist attacks and kidnappings around the world,” said Sauter, a former Special Forces and infantry officer. “Why wouldn’t they send agents to the homeland of their biggest enemy?”

Sauter noted that it took the U.S. government weeks to determine that North Korea was capable of hacking a major company. “It would be a mistake for the government now to assume North Korea is not capable of launching a terrorist attack in the U.S.,” he said. “They may or may not have the desire to attack the U.S. homeland now or in the future, but there’s a good chance they have at least some capability.”

Bill Cowan, a retired Marine officer, agreed and called the document an alarming disclosure.

“This demonstrates the North Koreans have capabilities most of us didn’t realize they had,” Cowan said. “It talks about them being on U.S. soil to carry out attacks and that takes the threat to a whole new level. And they’re probably still here.”

Past Reconnaissance Bureau operations included the bombing in Rangoon, Burma in 1983 in an attempt to kill then-South Korean President Chun Do-hwan. Three senior South Korean government ministers were killed in the attack.

Bureau commandos also carried out the attack on South Korea’s presidential Blue House in 1968 in an attempt to assassinate then-President Park Chung Hee, father of current South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

The Reconnaissance Bureau also is in charge of covert operations to infiltrate South Korea through tunnels and seaborne insertion of intelligence personnel.

North Korean intelligence activities in the United States have been limited.

In 2003, the FBI arrested Korean-American businessman John Joungwoong Yai, who was identified as a North Korean agent. He pleaded guilty to financial charges and served two years in prison.

Yai was paid for sending reports to North Korea through China based on publicly available sources. He had been tasked by North Korean officials to locate a North Korean agent who had defected.

Documents in the case revealed plans by North Korea to try and plant one of its agents inside the U.S. government.

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EU court removes Hamas from terror blacklist

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The EU General Court has ordered that the Palestinian militant group Hamas be removed from the bloc’s terror blacklist. The move comes over four years after Hamas appealed its terror designation before the EU.

The European Union first banned Hamas’ military wing, the Izz a-Din al-Qassam Brigades, in 2002, though the organization’s social and political divisions were not put on the terror list. Following a series of Hamas suicide bombings during the second intifada or uprising in September 2003, the EU extended the ban to include the organization as a whole.

On September 12, 2010, Hamas appealed the ban, largely on procedural grounds. In its complaint, the group cited a lack of due process, specifically, that it had not been properly informed the act was being implemented. It further asserted that as a “legitimately-elected government,” it cannot be labeled as a terrorist organization, saying such a designation flies in the face of “the principle of non-interference in the internal matters of a State.”

The court accepted the organization’s argument, saying that the decision to remove Hamas from the list was not based on an examination of Hamas’ activities, but rather on an examination of the procedures used to institute the 2003 ban in the first place. Unless an appeal brings closure, however, a funding freeze against the group and sanctions against its members will remain in place for three more months.

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The lawyer for Hamas, Liliane Glock, told AFP she was “satisfied with the decision.”

Hamas official Izzat al-Rishq lauded the decision, saying the court had righted an injustice done to the organization, which he said is a “national freedom movement,” and not a terrorist organization, the Jerusalem Post reports.

But a deputy from Israel’s major right-wing Likud party, Danny Danon, said, “The Europeans must believe that there blood is more sacred than the blood of the Jews which they see as unimportant. That is the only way to explain the EU court’s decision to remove Hamas from the terror blacklist.”

“In Europe they must have forgotten that Hamas kidnapped three boys and fired thousands of rockets last summer at Israeli citizens,” he added.

Shortly after the ruling, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the EU to keep Hamas on its list of terrorist organizations.

“We expect them to immediately put Hamas back on the list,” Reuters cites Netanyahu as saying in a statement. “Hamas is a murderous terrorist organization which in its charter states its goal is to destroy Israel.”

The EU and Israel have attempted to downplay the ruling, saying that groups standing within Europe as terror organizations will not change. Israeli and European officials say the court will be given a few months to rebuild its file against Hamas with evidence of the group’s activities, which will enable it to be placed back on the list of terror organizations, the Israeli news portal Ynet reports.

According to RT’s Paula Slier, Israeli politicians “across the political spectrum” have unanimously condemned what they call a “temporary” removal.

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According to Slier, EU officials have given Israel assurances that Brussels’ position has not changed, saying Wednesday’s ruling was a “technical” mistake. Officials from the 28-member bloc further said the court did not have sufficient authority to affect the entire EU’s position.

In the interim, however, EU member states will be empowered to establish diplomatic ties with Hamas.

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The EU ambassador to Israel, Lars Faaborg-Andersen, will meet with Israel’s Foreign Minister, Nissim Ben-Sheetrit, on Wednesday to discuss the matter, Israeli daily Haaretz reports. Faaborg-Andersen is expected to reiterate that the EU’s position on Hamas remains unchanged, and that a future decision to reclassify Hamas as a terror organization is forthcoming.

During the January 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections, Hamas defeated the PLO-affiliated Fatah party and has governed the Gaza Strip for the past seven years. Some countries have treated Hamas as a terrorist organization, while others have not. While Australia, Canada, Egypt, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Qatar, the US and the UK all treat Hamas or its military wing as a terrorist organization, other states, including China, Iran, Russia and Turkey, do not.

Hamas leaders have made several diplomatic trips to Russia to discuss a range of issues, from Palestinian reconciliation to economic relations.

UN urges EU to take refugees despite anti-migrant protests

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http://rt.com/news/214567-europe-refugees-migrants-protest/

Refugees arriving in Europe from war-torn Syria asking for asylum are putting an additional burden for the EU, whose economy is in crisis and where xenophobia is on the rise.

Over three million people, according to humanitarian organization Migrants’ Rights Network, have left Syria due to the war, and some of them headed to the EU asking for asylum. They travel to Europe “to have better life, to have good life, to have peace life,” one refugee told RT in Greece, which has seen a significant influx in recent years.

“We don’t see limits and we don’t want to see people sleeping in the streets,” says Angelos Syrigos, Greek Interior Minister. Although Greece is ready to receive refugees it cannot accept them all.

“But at the same time, their numbers are so vast,” adds Syrigos.

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In November up to 200 Syrians seeking asylum in the EU began a sit-in in Athens’ main square in a bid for asylum status, temporary working permits and medical care. The financially strapped Greek government says it doesn’t have the resources to deal with the growing refugee problem.

The bulk of the refugees hope to leave Greece for Northern Europe. Based on EU immigration policy, the migrants cannot move to other EU countries unless on a tourist visa, and can only stay a maximum of 90 days in any six months.

UN and other humanitarian organizations, including Migrants’ Rights Network, urge the EU to speed up the process of receiving the refugees. The MRN says the EU can and must receive at least 180,000 migrants. However some countries are not eager to accept them.

“We’re not ready to accept everyone, we shouldn’t accept everyone, we don’t need everyone,” says Kent Ekeroth from Sweden Democrats Party.

Another problem that the migrants face is growing level of racism and Islamophobia. Dresden in Germany has already seen 10,000 people rally against the Islamization of the country, and another one has taken place this Monday.

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Often migrants seeking a new life in Europe try to enter EU countries illegally.

In October migrants clashed with the police in Calais as some 2,500 people tried to reach Great Britain which is seen by many as a safe haven, with a stable economy and strong tradition of tolerance toward refugees from war. The Mayor of Calais Natacha Bouchart said in September that the UK benefit system is a “magnet” for illegal immigrants, who see Britain as a “soft touch.”

Illegal African migrants from Morocco have also found a way to seek a new life in Europe by jumping over the fence built around the Spanish enclaves in North Africa.

One of the biggest escapes in nearly a decade occurred in March, when 1,000 people jumped the existing triple-layer wire fence built by the Spanish, with about half of them successful. Another 500 people tried to leap to freedom in May, with about a quarter getting through into Spain.

Later Moroccan authorities revealed a plan to erect a five-meter high wall, topped with blades and barbed wire, on the border with the Spanish North African enclave of Melilla. The measure will target migrants trying to cross into Europe.

Over 3,400 migrants and refugees have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea this year trying to reach the European coast. Italy has managed to rescue more than 150,000 people this year – a large number of whom have congregated around the island of Lampedusa near Sicily. The total number of people who have attempted the illegal crossing to Europe over the Mediterranean Sea this year is over 207,000.

Al Qaeda Terrorist Wanted by FBI Crossed Back and Forth Into U.S. From Mexico

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He crossed the border with impunity, even though he was on the FBI’s most wanted list. Why wasn’t he ever noticed or arrested? Was Obama’s FBI too busy conducting “outreach” meetings at mosques to devote any time or attention to apprehending him?

Adnan el Shukrijumah

“Al Qaeda Terrorist Wanted by FBI Crossed Back and Forth Into U.S. From Mexico,” Judicial Watch, December 8, 2014:

An Al Qaeda terrorist on the FBI’s most wanted list for years crossed back and forth into the United States from Mexico to meet fellow militant Islamists in Texas and piloted an aircraft into the Cielo Dorado airfield in Anthony, New Mexico, law enforcement sources tell Judicial Watch.

The same Al Qaeda operative helped plan the 2009 bombing of talk-show superstar Oprah Winfrey’s Chicago studios and the iconic Sears Tower (renamed Willis Tower), a story that Judicial Watch broke just last week. His name is Adnan G. El Shukrijumah (also known as “Javier Robles”) and over the weekend he was killed in Pakistan, according to military officials in the Islamic republic.

In 2010 Shukrijumah was indicted in the Eastern District of New York for his role in a terrorist plot to attack targets in the United States—including New York City’s subway system—and the United Kingdom, according the FBI. The plot against New York City’s subway system was directed by senior Al Qaeda leadership in Pakistan, the FBI says, and was also directly related to a scheme by Al Qaeda plotters in Pakistan to use Western operatives to attack a target in the United States.

A year earlier Shukrijumah helped plan a terrorist truck-bomb plot targeting Winfrey’s Harpo Studios and the Sears Tower. Two of his fellow conspirators—Emad Karakrah and Hector Pedroza Huerta—were recently arrested for unrelated state crimes in different parts of the country. Karakrah is in Cook County, Illinois Jail on charges of making a false car bomb threat after leading police on a high-speed chase through Chicago with an ISIS flag waving from his car in August. Huerta, an illegal alien twice convicted for driving intoxicated, is in the El Paso County Jail and is scheduled to be sentenced later this month.

The men form part of a sophisticated narco-terror ring, exposed by JW in October, with connections running from El Paso to Chicago to New York City. It includes an all-star lineup of logistics and transportation operatives for militant Islamists in the United State, drug and weapons smugglers for the Juarez drug cartel in Mexico, an FBI confidential informant gone rogue and two of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists. Shukrijumah is one of them.

Despite being one of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists, Shukrijumah for years managed to slip in and out of the U.S. through the southern border to meet fellow militant Islamists—including Karakrah and Huerta—in the El Paso region, JW’s law enforcement sources confirm. In fact, in March the most wanted terrorist piloted a private aircraft from Mexico into the airfield at Cielo Dorado in Anthony New Mexico, according to JW’s high-level government sources.

Citing Pakistani military officials, a newspaper syndicate confirms that he’s been killed. “In an intelligence-borne operation, top al-Qaeda leader Adnan el Shukrijumah was killed by (the) Pakistan Army in an early morning raid in Shinwarsak, South Waziristan today,” a military statement quoted in the story says. “The remote region borders Afghanistan. His accomplice and local facilitator were also killed in the raid.”

Shukrijumah, 39, probably could have qualified for Obama’s amnesty. He was born in Saudi Arabia and moved to the U.S. with his family as a youngster in the mid-1990s. As a teenager he lived in South Florida’s Broward County and he attended the local community college where he took computer science and chemistry classes, according to the area’s newspaper. His mother, Zurah Adbu Ahmed, still lives in South Florida, the paper reports.

- See more at: http://pamelageller.com/2014/12/al-qaeda-terrorist-wanted-by-fbi-crossed-back-and-forth-into-u-s-from-mexico.html/#sthash.roUx6yhG.dpuf

Obama’s Final Tab for the G-20 Summit Leaves Other World Leaders in the Dust

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BY MICHAEL HAUSAM | NATION, POLITICS, WORLD

Last month, the President spent one night in Brisbane, Australia, before speaking at the G20 Summit.

Now, thanks to a little digging by The Weekly Standard, we know that no expense was spared for him.

The bill for the one night’s stay exceeded $1.7 million at the Brisbane Marriott, whose tagline is “The Epitome of Five Star Elegance.”

Here are the details:

The presidential delegation required 4,096 rooms.
Three different hotels were used.
Logistics, security, and negotiating teams were there in advance of – and subsequent to – his visit.
The entire floor he stayed on was completely stripped down and examined prior to his arrival.
His suite was aptly named “The Presidential Suite” and cost just over $2,135 for the night.

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The U.K.’s Daily Mail provided some insight on how some other leaders were accommodated, and there’s a stark difference:

British PM Cameron’s room cost 1/2 that amount, Russia’s Putin spent 74% less, and Australian PM Abbott’s room cost 88% less.

Chinese President Jinping was the silver-medal winner and spent only $1,400 for his room.

And Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, was forced to get by in a room that was only $171.60 per night.

When it comes to big-spending and making an impressive display of opulence, it seems our President is second to none.

Does America realize the consequences of forcing Russia into China’s arms?

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In Ukraine, the US is cutting off its nose to spite its face, as it transforms a regional struggle over “spheres of influence” into a global one. Unless the runaway train is swiftly derailed, the world faces a 21st century standoff between east and west.

In 867AD, Æbbe the Younger, Mother Superior of the convent at Coldingham in Scotland cut off her nose and upper lip and urged her fellow nuns to also disfigure themselves. It wasn’t for sacrificial reasons; it was because Viking raiders had landed nearby and the Abbess feared they would rape the community and deprive them of their chastity. By destroying their appearance, Mother Æbbe, correctly, guessed the Nordic marauders would show no interest. She was right – the Vikings were so disgusted that they burned the entire convent to the ground.

From this event was born the phrase “cutting off the nose to spite the face.” Although the original circumstances were slightly different, the term is a warning against pursuing revenge in a way that would damage the instigator more than the object of the anger. The USA is doing precisely this in its current attitude to Russia. By “punishing” Russia for resisting Western attempts to “grab” Ukraine, it is laying the foundations for a far more serious estrangement.

A feud that began when President Putin stymied the hopes of elements in Washington to wage war with Syria now has the potential to reshape the entire world. You all know the story by now, neocon factions in the State Department took revenge against Putin’s perceived stubbornness by ratcheting up tensions in Ukraine, leading to a violent revolution and civil war. The Crimean people voted to rejoin Russia and Washington, in tandem with the EU, imposed sanctions on Moscow.

Except they weren’t the kind of sanctions designed to damage Russia’s ability to defend itself. Instead, they were clearly aimed at regime change by targeting close supporters of the Russian President. Subsequently, the short-sighted sanctions led to unprecedented approval ratings for Putin as the Russian people rallied around their leader. In their eyes, an attack on their President was an attack on the nation. What the State Department meddlers didn’t countenance is that Russians, with high levels of education, are too savvy to be hoodwinked by playground tactics.

Since then, bilateral relations between the White House and the Kremlin have reached their lowest point since the Russian Federation was founded in 1991. This has happened only 4 years after Putin advocated a free trade agreement between the EU and Russia. “A harmonious economic community stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok,” as he wrote in Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung at the time.

In 48 months we have gone from a prospective giant Western alliance, with Russia at its centre, to a situation where Russia is now ready to possibly join an Eastern alliance led, to all intents and purposes, by China. We know neocons aren’t the brightest lights in the firmament but are they really this stupid?

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If you didn’t know the personalities involved and were asked to suggest the obvious alignment of the world, you’d probably say that Russia’s place was in the European camp. It shares a Christian faith with the rest of the continent and has always been at least a “slightly” European power – much like the United Kingdom.

In truth, Russia has little in common with Asian cultures, aside from geography. Even in the far eastern outpost of Vladivostok (which is on the far side of China), an Italian is far more likely to blend in than a Malaysian. This is not related to appearance – there are many ethnic east-Asians in the region, who regard themselves as thoroughly Russian and, by virtue, European. Indeed there are millions of people east of the Urals who have actually never set foot in what is generally considered to be Europe, but describe themselves as being Europeans. It’s a state of mind but, then again, Europe has always been as much an idea as a place.

For years commentators have speculated: “imagine Russia’s resources and military power with Western Europe’s technology and fiscal heft?” It would, of course, be the single most powerful economic and martial bloc in the world. Not only that, but such a rapprochement makes complete sense and has done since 1991.

However, it is Washington’s worst nightmare. An EU-Russia alliance and partial union would erode America’s influence in Europe. Hence, to knock it on head, just as it seemed Germany was warming to the notion, the US has managed to drive a massive wedge between Moscow and its natural allies in Europe.

Before they clap themselves on the back too loudly, the Americans might want to pause for a second. In pursuing this haphazard course, they’ve managed to send Russia hurtling into China’s warm embrace.

Thus, cutting off their nose to spite their face. Instead of allowing a tri-polar world, the US in control of the Americas, China in Asia, and a giant Eurasian alliance as a buffer – Washington has managed to create a much more confrontational bi-polar world. In the blue corner, the USA and a castrated, divided Europe which is being pulled in all kinds of directions and in the red corner, a resurgent China and a Russia that, most likely, would prefer to be in a different corner altogether, or none,

This is the way the US State Department wishes the world to be – in a constant state of chaos. Now, instead of a US-EU-Russia detente, they have managed to manufacture a new Cold War for the 21st century with Ukraine as the new Berlin.

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With Russia alienated by the West and China eager to buy high-end weaponry, a joint military pact seems the likely outcome. Concurrently, the previously zombie-like NATO has awoken like a pensioner who was discovered house music and fancies a last youthful dance.

If a Moscow-Beijing military alliance does take shape, such a bloc would dominate the Eurasian landmass, with naval bases all the way from the Baltic, via the Arctic and Pacific, to the South China Sea. A union between Russia’s advanced weaponry and China’s huge population and industrial muscle would eventually prove a match for NATO, thereby giving the US an excuse to ratchet up military spending. If Europe attempted to follow suit, it would likely deepen its economic malaise. The main point is that the whole notion is such an incredibly wasteful use of finite global resources.

The confrontation between Russia and the West is a gift that keeps on giving for China. Just as the self-destruction of the Euro-centric world a century ago allowed the building a new US-centric system, the weakening of the US will probably result in China becoming the world’s leading power. Europe’s last chance to stake its own claim, has evaporated into thin air thanks to a bone-headed, subservient (to Washington) strategy in eastern part of the continent. Europe’s inability to separate the European Union from the archaic NATO has been its undoing.

Four years after Putin proposed a Russian-EU alliance from “Lisbon to Vladivostok,” we instead have an embryonic new Cold War. It’s not too late to halt the wagons but time is limited. The next US administration, if it’s sufficiently blessed to be shorn of neocons, must decide which is more important to it: to antagonize Russia in the eastern borderlands, losing its world hegemony in the process, or to find a way of resolving friction with Moscow, thus halting the process of China’s accession to the role of global superpower.