Transition 2012Transition 2012

Resources on the foreign policy dimensions of the presidential transition


PrintPrint CiteCite
Style: MLAAPAChicago Close


Video Brief: North Korea

Author: Scott A. Snyder, Senior Fellow for Korea Studies and Director of the Program on U.S.-Korea Policy, Council on Foreign Relations
March 1, 2012

Stability on the Korean peninsula and coping with Pyongyang have been longstanding frustrations for U.S. policymakers, says CFR's Scott A. Snyder. North Korea will require renewed attention from the winner of the 2012 U.S. presidential election due to its nuclear capabilities, uncertainty over its new leadership, and its central location in world's most vibrant economic region, he says.

But Snyder says North Korea may be "on the verge of a transformative moment" following the transition of power to Kim Jong-un after the death of his father, Kim Jong-il.

The U.S. president in 2013 will first have to weigh the challenge North Korea presents to the international non-proliferation regime. Second, the president will have to coordinate policy on North Korea with new leaders in both South Korea and China.

Finally, the president will have to decide whether to hold direct talks with North Korean leaders, Snyder says. This decision, he says, will largely depend on whether the North Korean leadership decides to pursue a reform path or a "path of confrontation" with the United States and the international community.

This video is part of Campaign 2012, a series of video briefings on the top foreign policy issues debated in the run-up to the 2012 elections.

Terms of Use: I understand that I may access this audio and/or video file solely for my personal use. Any other use of the file and its content, including display, distribution, reproduction, or alteration in any form for any purpose, whether commercial, noncommercial, educational, or promotional, is expressly prohibited without the written permission of the copyright owner, the Council on Foreign Relations. For more information, write

More on This Topic


Obama and North Korea

Author: Scott A. Snyder
Asia Foundation

Scott Snyder  writes that "on the list of potential crises that the Obama administration will inherit come January 20th will be the task of...