Waiting ... waiting

Emmanuel Macron has been elected president of France, "delivering a resounding victory to the unabashedly pro-European former investment banker and strengthening France's place as a central pillar of the European Union". Of equal significance is the forthcoming Korean presidential election whose frontrunner, Moon Jae-in, could take a more conciliatory approach to North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

Moon [could be] at odds with U.S. President Donald Trump, who says that military force remains an option to halt Kim’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and the long-range ballistic missiles that could bring them to North America. Moon this week blasted a U.S. push to install a missile shield in South Korea before the election, saying the decision should be reviewed by the next president.

In other respects, however, they may see eye to eye. Moon has long said he’s prepared to meet Kim under the right conditions, a position Trump espoused this week in an interview with Bloomberg News. He also sees the policy of the past nine years as a failure, wants China to take more action and favors a two-track approach of sanctions and dialogue.

Ironically South Korea's sea change is driven by many of the same economic worries which roiled France. The rising Korean generation fear they won't have the same opportunities as their elders. "According to a Gallup poll in late April, 53 percent of respondents age 19 to 29 supported Moon Jae-in, the left-leaning front-runner, while just 17 percent of those older than 60 supported him. Only 11 percent of those between 19 and 29 said they supported presidential candidates from conservative parties -- compared with 20 percent of those above age 60."  It's a concern common not only to Korea, but throughout the developed world.

At the heart of the divide are two very different experiences of life.

When the Korean war ended in 1953, “people were literally worried about starving,” said Kim Nak-nyeon, a professor who teaches economic history at Dongguk University. The war-struck cities didn’t have the infrastructure to support all the people pouring in from the countryside looking for a better life, and many had to live in shanty towns while taking care of family members, he said. ...

But the years of rapid economic growth are well over, and difficulty finding good jobs has created a different set of barriers for today’s young Koreans.

Many of the nation’s youth now refer to themselves as the “sam-po generation,” or the generation that’s given up on relationships, marriage and having children, because their economic prospects have become so limited.

Although Macron's victory and Moon's likely triumph will likely be portrayed as a return of electoral politics to the globalist mainstream -- a reversal of the Brexit/Trump trend -- they are actually the opposite.  Both are attempts to solve challenges that have baffled the elite.  Hillary Clinton in her latest attempt to reinvent herself revealed an off-beat turn. "I’ve spent decades learning about what it would take to move our country forward, including people who clearly didn’t vote for me. To try to make sure that we dealt with a lot of these hard issues that are right around the corner, like robotics and artificial intelligence, and things that are really going to be upending the economy, for the vast majority of Americans, to say nothing of the rest of the world. So, I’m now back to being an activist citizen, and part of the resistance."  [Italics mine]