Politics

Former Obama Official Blames Media For Escalation With North Korea

A former State Department spokesman for the Obama administration held the media responsible for ratcheting up the North Korean crisis, saying its coverage has “helped fan these flames.”

“There is still room and air to come out of this and to try to work forward with some kind of diplomacy,” John Kirby said Friday on CNN. “I really worry that the media itself and the media coverage of this has helped fan these flames.”

The media has focused most of its coverage on President Donald Trump’s tweet in which he said the United States is “locked and loaded” in the event that North Korea attempts to strike first. Kirby said Trump’s Twitter response may have contributed to the rise in tension, but added that the media is causing it to spin out of control.

“We should be looking for ways to deescalate the tension, take a little bit of the air out of the tires. Pursue diplomatic solutions the way Secretary Mattis has been advocating,” Kirby said.

“This all started this week with a leaked assessment to the Washington Post about the fact that they [North Korea] had achieved miniaturization and the president responding to that leak in that news article,” he said. “We went from zero to 100 miles an hour in the course of about 48 hours based on the news article and the leak.”

“We’ve just amped up the tensions in an unnecessary way. We do not have to be where we are right now,” Kirby concluded.

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