On March 1, I reported that those serving with Rick Saccone in North Korea did not recall his time in North Korea as he has portrayed it during his
campaign for Congress in PA’s 18th District. Saccone has claimed he was a diplomat negotiating daily with the North Koreans and was the only American in North Korea for a year between December 2000 and December 2001.
Then, on March 10, The Guardian posted a reported which confirmed and extended my article. Reporters Benjamin Haas and Ben Jacobs spoke to Ambassador David Lambertson and a South Korean official who served with Saccone. Lambertson confirmed to Haas and Jacobs what he told me. The South Korean, Kim Joong-keun, said of all the Americans he worked with Saccone was ranked “at the bottom.”
Saccone has used this experience in his campaign ads and Donald Trump referred to Saccone’s North Korean experience during his campaign stop over the weekend. Trump said Saccone told him things about North Korea that his experts didn’t know. Before a friendly crowd, Trump made Saccone’s few months of experience in North Korea into a matter of great prestige which is exactly what Saccone has been doing the entire campaign.
In fact, according to career foreign service officers who served at the same time as Saccone, he wasn’t the only American in the area and he wasn’t there a year. His work with the North Koreans did not rise to the level of a diplomat according to those who also represented the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization as did Saccone.
The PA Congressional race is very close with the newest Monmouth poll out today showed Saccone’s Democrat challenger Conor Lamb ahead by a six point margin. The special election is tomorrow.