WaPo: Trump Team Boasting About N. Korean Hostages Could Threaten Their Release

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President Donald Trump and his attorney Rudy Guiliani’s off-the-cuff and misleading remarks on television and social media regarding ongoing negotiations for the release of U.S. hostages in North Korea may put those individuals at risk, the Washington Post reported.

By commenting publicly and inaccurately on sensitive backchannel negotiations, experts told the Post, the Trump administration may increase the hostages’ value and push the North Korean regime to demand more concessions for their release.

Earlier this week, Trump tweeted about the three American prisoners currently being held in a North Korean labor camp. Though two of the hostages were taken since Trump came into office, he mistakenly blamed the Obama administration for failing to secure their release. And, in his usual reality TV style, the President told his followers to “stay tuned!”

On Friday, he boasted to reporters that “a lot of good things have already happened with respect to the hostages,” and again told the nation to “stay tuned.”

Meanwhile, Giuliani said in a bombshell interview on Thursday on Fox News that the American prisoners would be freed by the end of the day. This did not come to pass.

Giuliani later admitted that he was not privy to inside information about the negotiations and had not even spoken to Trump about it.

Foreign policy and intelligence experts told the Washington Post that such remarks may push Kim Jong Un to set a higher price for the release of the prisoners.

“The more public you make it and the more you say something is going to happen that has not happened, it creates leverage for no reason,” said Jung Pak, a former CIA official who now works as an Asia analyst for the Brookings Institution. “It’s not going to get us anything, and it draws criticism that you are politicizing the detainees.”

 “It would be best to be circumspect in discussions like this,” Pak emphasized. “We’re talking about real lives.”

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