Tuesday, May 9, 2017

President Moon

After the impeachment of the conservative Park Geun-hye, Korea has a new president named Moon Jae-in, a liberal:
"'I will work toward peace on the Korean Peninsula,' he said. 'If necessary, I will travel to Washington right away. I will go to Pyongyang if conditions permit. For peace on the Korean Peninsula, I will do anything.'
He also said his government will engage in serious negotiations with the United States and China in order to resolve the conflict involving the deployment of the U.S. antiballistic missile system."
A lot going on here.  First of all, he'll have no transition period.  As of today he is now living in the Blue House (Korean White House) as president.  Transitions are tough on anybody, but he's filling a huge vacuum left by an unexpected impeachment and he'll have no grace period to speak of.

Second, conservatives have been in the South Korean presidency (Lee Myung-Bak for five years, then President Park for almost four) for almost a decade.  There's going to be a big shift with regards to relations with North Korea and China, at a time when Trump is pushing for the conservative "hard line" approach.

Still, at the end of the day, I'd imagine many Koreans are happy to just have a president in place and restore a bit of normalcy to what's been a very tumultuous year.

Meanwhile, an adult student (avowed PGH fan) let me know that the South Korean economy would now collapse since a liberal is in charge.

I was unable to check my cheek in letting him now that after nine years of conservative stewardship, the South Korean economy is completely stagnant, especially for young people.

It's no secret that Koreans are in favor of change, for better or worse, that voters in England, America, and France also voted for (terrible change, horrific change, pretty good change, natch).

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