Skip to comments.I'm Kim Jong-il, and I Approve This Candidate -- John Choe: DPRK shill, Soros grantee, NYC Democrat.
Posted on 08/23/2009 11:46:24 PM PDT by FrontPageMag.com
John Choe lived through 9/11 in New York City and shortly thereafter became legislative director for a city councilman – but led protests against toppling the Taliban and still boasts of volunteering for an organization whose keynote speaker proclaimed two weeks after 9/11 “many of those who died [in the Twin Towers] were already targets of the daily violence of global capitalism.” He made two pilgrimages to Stalinist North Korea and a trip to Castro’s Cuba “to create new ways of building solidarity with the struggles of workers and people of color.” He denounced “American imperialism,” the U.S. “war” against the poor, and the torture and politically motivated murders of South Korea (but not the North). George Soros rewarded his Communist zeal with a grant to create a left-wing pressure group within New York’s Korean community – a group which Choe ran in lockstep with Ramsey Clark’s radical Workers World Party and its affiliates before joining an organization that includes “representatives” from North Korea. And now, he’d like your vote.
By all indications, Choe is the frontrunner for the 20th district’s seat on the New York City Council, being vacated by his former boss and college buddy John Liu. (Choe was Liu’s legislative director and later chief of staff.) In addition to Liu’s strong backing, Choe – the first viable Korean candidate in a largely Korean district – is endorsed by U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley, the Queens Democratic Party, the powerful Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and Local 237 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. And he hopes to keep all eyes focused on the future.
He has learned well from Barack Obama, whose name he often invokes. Like Obama, he had a nomadic childhood. The Democratic hopeful was born in 1970 in Korea, raised in Australia, and emigrated to the United States in the 1980s. Like Obama, he has learned to hide his true face. Mention Choe’s ongoing affiliation with North Korea, and he changes the issue faster than you can say “Jeremiah Wright.” He dismisses any discussion of his longstanding advocacy on behalf of Kim Jong-il’s regime as “crazy talk,” a “desperate attempt by opponents to distract the electorate from the real issues.” After all, “Working families care about how they’re going to support their families, provide health care and a good education to their children…That’s what I’m running on."
It’s clear why Choe would want his vitae shielded from prying eyes. The first clue to Choe’s radical views is his self-description as “a byproduct of U.S. imperialism.” Examining the organizations his CV boasts he served yields yet more. Among them:
Most of these activities have been scrubbed from Choe’s campaign bio. Yet Choe proudly lists himself the founder of Nodutdol (which translates, roughly, “stepping stone”), a far-Left Korean organization the South Korean consulate told the New York Times is controlled by Pyongyang.
So too is another group Choe belongs to: the Korea Truth Commission. The Workers World newspaper acknowledges, “The KTC includes representatives from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (socialist north Korea).” And the WWP should know; as DiscoverTheNetworks points out, KTC is a member of the International ANSWER steering committee, and was founded by Ramsey Clark's International Action Center, which is itself a front for the Workers World Party (WWP), a tiny Marxist splinter party that lionizes Kim Jong-il, Fidel Castro, Slobodan Milosovic, and Saddam Hussein.
Choe’s ties to North Korea run long. He first visited the North in 2000 – on his honeymoon! Eight years later, he made a return trip. He tried to minimize the importance of the trip, telling The Queens Tribune he and his new bride “spent a few days in North Korea to learn about the society.” He has emerged sounding very much like a Democratic People’s Republic of Korea spokesman, insisting Pyongyang had the right to test “civilian” rockets. (He claimed he was unaware if the rockets North Korea kept firing over Japanese airspace were for civilian or military purposes.) Choe thundered that South Korea “restricted free speech and freedom of conscience, [and] allowed the authorities to detain, torture and sometimes kill their political opponents whether they were professors, poetry, [sic.] labor activists.” He generously offered, “If a similar system is in place in North Korea, I would also oppose it.” But thus far, his ire has been directed toward Seoul – and Washington. In 2005, Choe chaired a speech given by two South Koreans who claim they were injured in a “massacre” orchestrated by the South Korean government. One of them said their purpose was to insist the U.S. government “pay reparations to the victims.”
It was hardly Choe’s first less-than-sympathetic gesture toward the land of his emigration. On Febraruy 28, 2002 – just months after his new hometown fell victim to the worst act of terrorism in U.S. history – Choe staged a rally opposing toppling the Taliban. He told the WWP’s newspaper, Workers World, his new organization Noduldol had two goals: “to showcase the fact that many members of the Korean community in New York have been opposed to the use of military forces in Afghan,” [sic.] and to make “comparisons with the way the U.S. has acted with its allies in Korea and Palestine, dividing and occupying these two countries.” Not content to merely demean his own country on two fronts, Choe insisted: “Bush saying ‘Axis of Evil’ is not just something recent. It’s been U.S. strategy to demonize and delegitimize popular struggles around the world.” In one sentence he lambasted the United States and elevated Kim Jong-il’s gulag to a “popular struggle.” A year later, Choe would insist, “the U.S. is about to launch a war” against North Korea.
For such yeoman’s service, in 2003 Choe received a New York City Community Fellowship Program grant from George Soros’ Open Society Institute to “Help local Korean immigrants and community members in Queens establish a community-based organization to promote social justice and human rights campaigns and initiatives.” The program, now operating under another name, “identified and supported social change agents who engaged passion, ingenuity, and dynamism,” ultimately financing 77 people over seven years (1998-2005). Soros’ website reveals, “The fellowship has been renamed the New York Social Justice Fellowship to reflect the programs on-going commitment of supporting new grassroots initiatives.” To most, Choe’s history of collusion with, or useful idiocy for, totalitarian dictatorships would be a disqualifying factor; for George Soros, it was icing on the cake.
The Soros grant was intended to do what so many left-wing “philanthropic” grants do: create a permanent infrastructure of radicalism. George Soros has used similar tactics to fund the “grassroots” rallies in favor of campaign finance reform in 2000 and socialized medicine this summer; others have done so to create the Open Borders Lobby. This tax-exempt cash goes toward radicalizing the target community and, more importantly, giving the Left cover among any given constituency (Koreans, Hispanics, women, etc.).
Choe’s new Soros-funded organization, Nodutdol, would become the radical face of New York’s Korean community. Even the New York Times admitted the Nodutdul website “There is plenty of praise for the former dictator Kim Il Sung…The site doesn't mention that North Korean citizens can reportedly be sent to the gulag for watching television. There is only a passing reference to the famine that killed an estimated 2.5 million North Koreans in the mid-1990's.” Nodutdol stepped up visits of Koreans in the United States to North and South Korea. One such visitor, Maggie Kim, described what she learned: “[N]o one I knew [in America] worked towards anything besides their own personal gain, whether it be wealth, fame, happiness, enlightenment. Yet here was an entire country devoted to their great and dear leaders.” (North Koreans are dedicated to their Dear Leader. Or else.)
Choe would parlay his new notoriety as the face of Korea opposition to the War on Terror. As noted, he opposed the military response to 9/11, but he soon mobilized opposition to the war in Iraq. In March 2003, Choe’s group had all of 50 members when it chose to host a “teach-in” against the war. When South Korean anti-Communists noted Choe’s connections to the North, he deemed their response “typical McCarthyism” and “censorship.” That May, Nodutdol took part in “Operation Homeland Resistance,” to draw attention to “‘war and occupation abroad’ and the continued domestic war against immigrants, people of color and poor people.” Among the “more than 56” organizations” that took part were CAAAV, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, United for Peace and Justice and ANSWER.
The overlapping network of radical/communist organizations is no mere coincidence. The fates of IAC, KTC, Nodutdol, and others would be continually intertwined. On January 6, 2006, Choe addressed the Workers World Party, giving an address entitled, “Korea & the struggle against U.S. imperialism, part 2.” The audio and video of the speech have miraculously disappeared from the website. However, the WWP website still contains a transcript of a speech he gave that May in his capacity as part of the Korea Truth Commission at a “May 13-14 conference on ‘Preparing for the Rebirth of the Global Struggle for Socialism’ in New York City.” On May 13, 2006, Choe spoke at the third plenary session, “Fighting Imperialism & Building Revolutionary Internationalism.” Speaking shortly after a member of the American-Iranian Friendship Committee, Choe declared, “Korea is also a forward operating base for U.S. imperialism.” A month later, Choe staged protests to demand U.S. troops out of Korea. In October 2006, KTC held a protest alongside IAC and Nodutdol to end UN sanctions against North Korea. Nodutdol’s statement, posted on IAC’s website the day of the march, claimed the Dear Leader acted in rational response to U.S. aggression.
Although Choe is now described as a “former” member, Nodutdol has gone forward on the radical path he blazed. It supported the Communist Party of Nepal, which engaged in a longstanding war against the monarchy and employed thousands of child soldiers in a successful revolution that resulted in their taking the reins of power. This June, Nodutdol was part of a “People’s Summit” outside the UN, including speakers like convicted Communist/terrorist lawyer Lynne Stewart. It has aligned itself with the National Lawyers Guild. Its website currently calls for “Peaceful national reunification” of North and South Korea, as well as: “Demilitarization of our communities – Military recruiters out of schools, No more ICE raids and scape-goating of immigrants, End police violence in our communities, No to Homeland Security’s infringement on civil liberties.” (Emphasis in original.)
Try as he may to skirt his true views, the New York Post shamed Choe into an admission about one of his 2006 WWP speeches late last month. When a Post reporter asked him if he really said “Korea is at the front line of the liberation struggles against imperialism,” Choe confessed, “I may have said something like that.” John Liu, who had not heard the confession, said the allegations were a product of – wait for it – “McCarthyism,” adding, “There's no way he made those comments, no way.”
Choe continues to minimize the importance of his pro-Stalinist views. “I’m not running for secretary of state,” he said. “I’m running to represent the 20th district in the City Council.” One wry observer commented, “That is true in the same sense that David Duke ran for governor of Louisiana, not Chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.” Former council member Julia Harrison, whom Liu defeated in 2001, observed New Yorkers should be “very concerned about the perception in the community that the North Korean government has a spokesperson.” Indeed, all Americans should be outraged the Teamsters, the SEIU, and George Soros have taken pains to assure the possibility that a pro-Stalinist who has made numerous trips to North Korea, visited Cuba as part of a Communist counterintelligence program, and remains uncertain whether North Korea oppresses its citizens may be the next Democratic member of the nation’s most iconic city.
The author wishes to commend the invaluable blog johnchoe.blogspot.com for doing an outstanding job of cataloging media reports about John Choe. Much of the information in this article is drawn from sources it cites.
Anyone who votes for an idiot like Cho now needs a dose of ipecac.
Caveat: I know John Choe from when I lived in Flushing. Him and his first wife honeymooned (that’s what he told us) in Pyongyang. Much of what FrontPage is talking about fits him to a T. Better yet, he has been the main campaign guy, then office manager, for Council John Liu (candidate for NYC Comptroller). This guy is a communist.
However, he is not a shoo in. Union support means something, but he has several issues which plague him and his campaign:
1) complete disorganization in his campaign. He was a last minute pick and his mentor, John Liu, is busy with his own campaign. John Choe is on his own.
2) The biggest voting block may have been whites, but they have their own crank candidate (forgot his name) backed by former Councilwoman Julia Harrison. There may be 2-3 Chinese candidates, but they are now the biggest voting block (whether legal or otherwise, dealt with that before). He may be ethnic Korean, but he can’t speak or read Korean.
3) The Koreans here already know about his communist background. Korean veterans used to stage protests against John Liu keeping him on the payroll, and John Liu had to shift him from the city payroll to the campaign payroll. It became less of an issue about 2-3 years ago and John Liu made him office manager after the prior idiot got elected to state assembly.
4) John Choe has made no effort until a couple of months ago to run for this office. The Chinese candidates have been keeping their face in the public for a couple of years now and have been going to the Senior Centers, public forums and such. James Wu has his mommy, Ethyl Chen, to help out his lack of public exposure. The education expert (runs a study program) has been out there for years in the public eye (forgot her English name, sorry). John Choe had to be kept hidden from the Koreans and Councilman John Liu didn’t plan ahead for his successor, so tough luck. Crazy white guy ran for State Assembly in 2004, placing distant third, but at least people have dealt with him.
From the website of the Workers World Party:
"Dear Comrade Kim Jong Il...
With his leadership [Kim Il Sung], the Korean people defeated the Japanese colonial occupation and soon after brought about the first defeat of the U.S. imperialist military machine. ...
Workers World Party values our close, comradely relations with the Workers Party of Korea very highly. We are proud to have known Kim Il Sung as a great leader and a comrade in the international communist movement. ..."
With comradely solidarity, Sam Marcy Chairperson, Workers World Party" (1994):
55 W. 17 St., NY, NY 10011
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Photo of Charlie Rangel at the podium of a March 19th, 2005 Workers World Party/Troops Out Now rally in Harlem, New York. The occasion marked the 2nd anniversary of the start of the Iraq war. The photo comes from the ("We are proud to have known Kim Il Sung as a great leader and a comrade in the international communist movement. ...") Workers World Party website.
Also appearing at this "peace" rally with the demonRat Charlie Rangel, now chairman of The House Ways and Means Committee, were Saddam Hussein lawyer, Ramsey Clark and convicted terrorist enabler/attorney, Lynne Stewart. Clark, with Workers World Party, started up that other 'peace' group, A.N.S.W.E.R. Clark also heads the International Action Center and was actually once Attorney General of the United States under democrat LBJ. -etl
Source for the photos: Workers World Party website (workers.org)
For the record, A.N.S.W.E.R. is now officially controlled by the Party for Socialism and Liberation. They are an offshoot of Workers World Party.
"So too is another group Choe belongs to: the Korea Truth Commission. The Workers World newspaper acknowledges, The KTC includes representatives from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (socialist north Korea). And the WWP should know; as DiscoverTheNetworks points out, KTC is a member of the International ANSWER steering committee, and was founded by Ramsey Clark's International Action Center, which is itself a front for the Workers World Party (WWP), a tiny Marxist splinter party that lionizes Kim Jong-il, Fidel Castro, Slobodan Milosovic, and Saddam Hussein."
Im Kim Jong-il, and I Approve This Candidate:
You should post this piece again at an hour where more people can see it, like 9 or 10 AM ET.