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South Korea at the Crossroads: Autonomy and Alliance in an Era of Rival Powers

South Korea at the Crossroads: Autonomy and Alliance in an Era of Rival Powers Book Review South Korea at the Crossroads: Autonomy and Alliance in an Era of Rival Powers by Scott A. Snyder. New York: Columbia University Press, 2018. 355 pp., $35 (cloth). As the Korean Peninsula transitions from stark tension to detente in 2018, we have a need for a clear explanation of the path on which we find ourselves. The Council on Foreign Relations’ Scott Snyder delivers a crucial text at a critical time, pro- viding us insight into the pressures and prospects that concern Seoul policy mak- ers. China’s mounting influence and North Korea’s rapidly expanding nuclear and missile capabilities condition South Korea’s prospects in challenging ways. Reli- ance on and flux in the South Korea–United States relationship necessarily rein- force, yet at some points challenge, Seoul’s options. In the end, it is its American ally that best suits South Korea’s interest. Korea’s story historically has been one of survival and resilience as it faces external threats from the surrounding great powers, Snyder points out in his pref- ace. He couches South Korea’s strategic choices atop a geopolitical fault line. Chi- na’s rise and questions about US durability are the greatest conditioners today. It is a time for smart http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Korean Studies Duke University Press

South Korea at the Crossroads: Autonomy and Alliance in an Era of Rival Powers

Journal of Korean Studies , Volume 24 (1) – Mar 1, 2019

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Copyright
Copyright © 2019 by the Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York
ISSN
0731-1613
eISSN
2158-1665
DOI
10.1215/21581665-7258199
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Book Review South Korea at the Crossroads: Autonomy and Alliance in an Era of Rival Powers by Scott A. Snyder. New York: Columbia University Press, 2018. 355 pp., $35 (cloth). As the Korean Peninsula transitions from stark tension to detente in 2018, we have a need for a clear explanation of the path on which we find ourselves. The Council on Foreign Relations’ Scott Snyder delivers a crucial text at a critical time, pro- viding us insight into the pressures and prospects that concern Seoul policy mak- ers. China’s mounting influence and North Korea’s rapidly expanding nuclear and missile capabilities condition South Korea’s prospects in challenging ways. Reli- ance on and flux in the South Korea–United States relationship necessarily rein- force, yet at some points challenge, Seoul’s options. In the end, it is its American ally that best suits South Korea’s interest. Korea’s story historically has been one of survival and resilience as it faces external threats from the surrounding great powers, Snyder points out in his pref- ace. He couches South Korea’s strategic choices atop a geopolitical fault line. Chi- na’s rise and questions about US durability are the greatest conditioners today. It is a time for smart

Journal

Journal of Korean StudiesDuke University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2019

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