Trump is encouraging 'hostage taking' by negotiating a 'ransom' with North Korea: Retired rear admiral
US President Donald Trump has a uniquely combative relationship with the media, which he denounces as "fake news," except in a handful of cases, including his favored Fox News network (AFP Photo/NICHOLAS KAMM)

On Monday, Retired Rear Admiral John Kirby explained to CNN host Brianna Keilar the impact of President Donald Trump's relationship with North Korea.

A former State Department Special Representative for North Korea, Joseph Yun told CNN that he "signed an agreement to pay North Korea $2 million for the release of American student Otto Warmbier in 2017."

Yun said he did this under the direction of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and with the understanding that President Donald Trump approved.

Kirby explained that if Trump paid this $2 million fee that it would, in the long run, be harmful to Americans.

"So what is your interpretation of what happened here?" Keilar asked.

"They certainly agreed to pay a ransom. You can’t call it anything other than that. They will say they didn’t change policy because they never paid it but they certainly agreed to it. It’s extortion and not atypical for the North Korean regime to demand exorbitant payments for these sorts of things," Kirby said.

He added, "The policy is important because you don’t want to encourage other terrorist reigns or nation states to hold Americans hostage in their country. [Trump just encourage] the hostage-taking regime all the more."

"So what does it mean if it’s not paid, and there’s this agreement to pay it?" Keilar asked.

"They are damned if they do and damned if they don’t," he said.

Watch the full interview below via CNN: