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Scott A. Snyder

Senior Fellow for Korea Studies and Director of the Program on U.S.-Korea Policy

Expertise

Politics and foreign policy of South Korea and North Korea; U.S.-Korea relations; Northeast Asian security; and U.S.-Asia relations

Bio

Scott Snyder is senior fellow for Korea studies and director of the program on U.S.-Korea policy at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), where he had served as an adjunct fellow from 2008 to 2011. Snyder's program examines South Korea's efforts to contribute on the international stage; its potential influence and contributions as a middle power in East Asia; and the peninsular, regional, and global implications of North Korean instability. Snyder is also the co-editor of North Korea in Transition: Politics, Economy, and Society (Rowman and Littlefield, October 2012), and the editor of Global Korea: South Korea's Contributions to International Security (Council on Foreign Relations, October 2012) and The U.S.-South Korea Alliance: Meeting New Security Challenges (Lynne Rienner Publishers, March 2012). He served as the project director for CFR's Independent Task Force on policy toward the Korean Peninsula. He currently writes for the blog, "Asia Unbound."

Prior to joining CFR, Snyder was a senior associate in the international relations program of The Asia Foundation, where he founded and directed the Center for U.S.-Korea Policy and served as The Asia Foundation's representative in Korea (2000-2004). He was also a senior associate at Pacific Forum CSIS. Mr. Snyder has worked as an Asia specialist in the research and studies program of the U.S. Institute of Peace and as acting director of Asia Society's contemporary affairs program. He was a Pantech visiting fellow at Stanford University's Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center during 2005-06, and received an Abe fellowship, administered by the Social Sciences Research Council, in 1998-99.

Snyder has authored numerous book chapters on aspects of Korean politics and foreign policy and Asian regionalism and is the author of China's Rise and the Two Koreas: Politics, Economics, Security (2009), Paved With Good Intentions: The NGO Experience in North Korea (co-editor, 2003), and Negotiating on the Edge: North Korean Negotiating Behavior (1999). He has provided advice to NGOs and humanitarian organizations active in North Korea and serves on the advisory council of the National Committee on North Korea and Global Resource Services.

Snyder received a BA from Rice University and an MA from the regional studies East Asia program at Harvard University and was a Thomas G. Watson fellow at Yonsei University in South Korea.

The U.S.-ROK Alliance: Lynchpin for Managing Stability in the Asia-Pacific

The U.S.-ROK alliance has succeeded beyond expectation in its evolution from a security-focused, military-dominated relationship dedicated to deterring North Korea to a multifaceted, comprehensive alliance. The relationship now faces two new challenges that require careful coordination and effective management: shifts in the geopolitical environment resulting from China’s rising power and South Korea’s evolving conception of itself as a middle power. U.S. rebalancing policy prioritizes Asia, but assumes levels of continuity in the security situation on the Korean peninsula that are not guaranteed. Effective management of these issues will require more time and political attention, and will be critical to maintaining a robust alliance amidst geopolitical uncertainly. With the Project on the U.S.-ROK Alliance, CFR’s Program on U.S.-Korea policy considers the impact of geopolitical shifts in relative influence of the United States and China on how to coordinate policy toward North Korea; the challenging regional security dilemmas South Korea faces as a result of rising nationalism in both China and Japan; the impact of South Korea’s middle power role for U.S.-ROK cooperation; and the potential strategic and policy implications of regional developments, including China’s rise and U.S. rebalancing policy, for South Korea. Through study group and roundtable meetings, articles, and blog posts on Asia Unbound, this project aims to identify issues, opportunities, and challenges in the U.S.-ROK alliance.

This project is made possible through the support of the Korea Foundation and the Smith Richardson Foundation.

Middle Power Korea: Contributions to the Global Agenda

South Korea has used its “hosting power” in recent years as a stepping stone for its ambitious and constructive efforts to contribute substantively on the international stage. While its hosting of international gatherings has revealed clear constraints on South Korea’s ability to shape the international agenda or to serve as an intermediary on conflicts involving larger powers, these roles have also provided South Korea with valuable experience on the international stage on niche issues on which the country appears poised to make a difference. Middle Power Korea: Contributions to the Global Agenda aims to examine South Korea’s role as a middle power, its contributions and ability to influence international institutions, and its prospects for cooperation with the United States. This forthcoming book focuses on four areas in which South Korea has expanded its capabilities, made efforts to influence the global agenda, and shown potential to play a greater role: international development, financial stability, nuclear governance, and green growth.

This project is made possible through the support of the Korea Foundation.

Featured Publications

Other Report

Global Korea

Authors: Scott Bruce, John Hemmings, Balbina Y. Hwang, Terence Roehrig, and Scott A. Snyder

South Korea has emerged as a major contributor to international security, participating in a wide range of activities far from the Korean peninsula. CFR scholars outline several steps that will ensure that South Korea can sustain this broadened role.

See more in South Korea; Regional Security

All Publications

Testimony

North Korea's Nuclear and Missile Tests and Six-Party Talks: Where Do We Go From Here?

Author: Scott A. Snyder

Scott A. Snyder testifies before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs' Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and the Global Environment; and Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade. His testimony addresses North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests and Six-Party talks.

See more in United States; Arms Control, Disarmament, and Nonproliferation; South Korea; North Korea; Missile Defense

Recent Activity from Asia Unbound

CFR Events

Media Conference Call

Global Korea

Speakers:

Scott A. Snyder, Council on Foreign Relations, Balbina Y. Hwang, Visiting Professor, Georgetown University, Terence Roehrig, Professor in National Security Affairs and the Director of the Asia-Pacific Studies Group, U.S. Naval War College
October 24, 2012

This meeting is on the record.

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Conference Call

Global Korea

Speakers:

Scott A. Snyder, Senior Fellow for Korea Studies and Director of the Program on U.S.-Korea Policy, Council on Foreign Relations, Balbina Y. Hwang, Visiting Professor, Georgetown University, Terence Roehrig, Professor of National Security Affairs and the Director of the Asia-Pacific Studies Group, U.S. Naval War College
October 24, 2012

This meeting is not for attribution.

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General Meeting ⁄ New York

Korea Update

Panelists:

Victor D. Cha, D.S. Song-KF Endowed Chair in Government and Asian Studies and Director of Asian Studies, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University; Senior Adviser and Korea Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies; Author, The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future, Michael A. McDevitt, Senior Fellow, Center for Strategic Studies, Center for Naval Analyses, CNA; Former Director, East Asia Policy Office, U.S. Department of Defense; Rear Admiral, United States Navy (Retired), Scott A. Snyder, Senior Fellow for Korea Studies and Director of the Program on U.S.-Korea Policy, Council on Foreign Relations; Editor, The U.S.-South Korea Alliance: Meeting New Security Challenges

Presider:

Calvin Sims, Program Officer, Journalism, Ford Foundation
April 30, 2012 5:30-6:00 p.m. - Reception
6:00-7:00 p.m. - Meeting

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

National Program Meeting

National Program Conference Call: After Kim Jong Il: The Future of North Korea

Speaker:

Scott A. Snyder, Senior Fellow for Korea Studies and Director of the Program on U.S.-Korea Policy, Council on Foreign Relations

Presider:

Paul B. Stares, General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action, Council on Foreign Relations
December 20, 2011 3:00-3:45 p.m. - (ET)

This meeting is not for attribution.

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Conference Call

NY Meetings Conference Call: After Kim Jong Il: The Future of North Korea

Speaker:

Scott A. Snyder, Senior Fellow for Korea Studies and Director of the Program on U.S.-Korea Policy, Council on Foreign Relations

Presider:

Paul B. Stares, General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action, Council on Foreign Relations
December 20, 2011 3:00-3:45 p.m. - Conference Call

This meeting is on the record.

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Conference Call

DC Meetings Conference Call: After Kim Jong Il: The Future of North Korea

Presider:

Paul B. Stares, General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action, Council on Foreign Relations

Speaker:

Scott A. Snyder, Senior Fellow for Korea Studies and Director of the Program on U.S.-Korea Policy, Council on Foreign Relations
December 20, 2011 3:00-3:45 p.m.

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

Roundtable Meeting

A Conversation with Minister Yu Woo-ik

Speaker:

The Honorable Yu Woo-ik, Minister of Unification, Republic of Korea

Presider:

Scott A. Snyder, Senior Fellow for Korea Studies and Director of the Program on U.S.-Korea Policy, Council on Foreign Relations
November 3, 2011

This meeting is not for attribution.

ListenWatch

Academic Conference Call

U.S. Policy Toward the Korean Peninsula

Speaker:

Scott A. Snyder, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Korea Studies, Council on Foreign Relations; Director, CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force on U.S. Policy Toward the Korean Peninsula

Presider:

Irina A. Faskianos, Vice President, National Program & Outreach, Council on Foreign Relations
October 13, 2010

This meeting is not for attribution.

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General Meeting ⁄ New York

U.S. Policy Toward the Korean Peninsula: Report of a CFR-Sponsored Independent Task Force

Panelists:

Charles L. "Jack" Pritchard, President, Korea Economic Institute of America; Former Ambassador and Special Envoy for Negotiations with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea; Co-Chair, Independent Task Force on U.S. Policy Toward the Korean Peninsula, Evans J.R. Revere, Senior Director, Albright Stonebridge Group; Member, Independent Task Force on U.S. Policy Toward the Korean Peninsula, Scott A. Snyder, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Korea Studies, Council on Foreign Relations; Director, Independent Task Force on U.S. Policy Toward the Korean Peninsula

Speaker:

David E. Sanger, Chief Washington Correspondent, New York Times
June 16, 2010 8:00-8:15 a.m. - Reception
8:15-9:15 a.m. - Meeting

This meeting is on the record.

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