White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonoughDenis Richard McDonoughPhotos of the Week: Veterans Day, AstroWorld Festival memorial and COP26 protestors Defense & National Security — Biden marks Veterans Day Biden marks Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery MORE indicated on Sunday that the United States will not negotiate with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) over the release of a Japanese hostage.
“Our policies on this are pretty well set,” McDonough told “Fox News Sunday.” “We don’t get into negotiations with terrorists, we don’t pay ransoms, because that cash then fuels further kidnappings, which just continues to exasperate the problem.”
McDonough’s comments come just days after ISIS is believed to have executed one Japanese prisoner after Japan refused to pay a $200 million ransom.
ISIS is now demanding the release of a Sajida al-Rishawi, a Jordanian prisoner who is on death row, in exchange for another hostage.
McDonough said that would be the equivalent of a ransom, but would not discuss the conversations the Obama administration has had with the Japanese government over terrorists’ demands.
"Well I’m not going to get into a conversation with the Japanese on this show, but I’m not here to talk about that today,” McDonough said.
The White House on Saturday condemned the death of Haruna Yukawa.
In a video posted online by ISIS, another Japanese hostage, Kenji Goto, is shown alive and in handcuffs with a photo purportedly of a beheaded Yukawa.
"The United States strongly condemns the brutal murder of Japanese citizen Haruna Yukawa by the terrorist group ISIL. Our condolences today are with the people of Japan for their terrible loss," President Obama said in a statement, using an alternate acronym for ISIS.
Both hostages were captured by ISIS in recent months.