Choe, who is campaigning to become the city's first Korean-American council member, is widely reported to be leading in the crowded six-way, September 15 Democratic primary for this ethnically diverse district. According to CityHallNews.com, the district is "roughly 10 percent Korean-American, 20 percent Chinese-American, 15 percent Hispanic and 37 percent Caucasian."
Although Choe was late to enter the running, he was boosted into the lead by several factors: 1) the endorsement of his former boss, John Liu, who has stepped down from the 20th District Council seat to run for city comptroller; 2) the endorsement of U.S. Representative Joseph Crowley, who serves as the Queens County Democratic Party chairman; 3) the endorsement of several unions, including the powerful and militant Service Employees International Union (SIEU) Local 1199, which controls the jobs of (and collects dues from, and feeds political propaganda to) 350,000 workers in the homecare, hospital, and nursing-home industries; 4) the endorsement of the Stonewall Democrats, which bills itself as "the National Voice of LGBT [Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Transgendered] Democrats"; 5) favorable media coverage; and; 6) tireless campaign workers from the communist Workers World Party (WWP) and other communist groups that support China and North Korea.
However, anti-communist Koreans and Chinese in the district (of which there are many) are making their voices heard, in spite of efforts by much of the media to ignore or play down Choe's close ties to North Korea and Communist China. The weblog "John Choe: A Dangerous Man" has posted many stories and links from the Workers World newspaper and other sources, including audio recordings of anti-U.S., pro-North Korea speeches by Choe at WWP-sponsored events (which have since been removed from the WWP website, apparently to protect Choe). A report on John Choe's speech to the communist faithful at a WWP conference on May 13-14, 2006 in New York City, as reported by Workers World, can be seen here. The name of the conference was revealing in and of itself: "Preparing for the Rebirth of the Global Struggle for Socialism."
In his speech, Choe used classic communist rhetoric, calling on the assembled radical activists to "bring the war against [U.S.] imperialism to the belly of the beast," and affectionately referred to fellow activist Yoomi Jeong as "our comrade," who was then down in Washington, D.C. organizing protests led by a coalition of communist groups. "I urge all of you to join us in this very important struggle," said Choe. "Myself as an immigrant and a byproduct of U.S. imperialism I hope you can help me bring down imperialism," he continued. An internal search on the Workers World site yields more articles featuring John Choe, which can be accessed here — at least until the comrades take these links down. The New York Post belatedly reported on Choe's radical views and association with the WWP in an August 2 story by David Seifman.
Since most Americans are not familiar with the Workers World Party, it is important to note that this is one of the most hard-core of the many communist parties in the United States. A split-off of the Trotskite Socialist Workers Party, the WWP is unique among communist organizations in that it did not take sides with either Beijing or Moscow during the so-called Sino-Soviet split, but supported all communist regimes and maintained relations with them. The WWP cadres have provided much of the activist leadership for A.N.S.W.E.R. and the International Action Center (IAC), two of the leading Marxist-Leninist groups in the forefront of the "anti-war" movement. Now even many on the far Left acknowledge that A.N.S.W.E.R. and IAC are mere fronts for the WWP, and have distanced themselves from those groups. While vociferously denouncing "imperialism" and "oppression" by the United States and other Western countries, the WWP has supported, and continues to support, the most tyrannical police-states in the world. The most obvious case in point is North Korea, which Freedom House regularly lists in its annual survey of human rights among "The Worst of the Worst" dictatorships.
According to Freedom House, North Korea (DPRK, Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea) typifies the worst of despotism, where "state control over daily life is pervasive and wide-ranging, independent organizations and political opposition are banned or suppressed, and fear of retribution for independent thought and action is part of daily life." Of course, that doesn't begin to describe the true horror of living under the iron fist of Pyongyang. For personal, first-hand accounts of the unbelievably inhuman conditions and torture inflicted on the hundreds of thousands of hapless victims of Jong Kim Il's brutal gulags, see here, here, and here.
See our related article "Communist Ties Become Issue in NYC Politics."
Photo: Kim Jong Il