WATCH: Jen Psaki holds White House press briefing

Citing the safety of 17 members of a U.S.-based missionary group kidnapped in Haiti, White House press secretary Jen Psaki declined on Tuesday to detail the U.S. response.

Watch Psaki’s remarks in the player above.

“I can’t get into too many details operationally here because that’s never been in the interests of bringing people home who are being held for ransom,” Psaki told reporters.

She also confirmed that the U.S. policy of not negotiating with hostage-takers remains in effect.

A gang is demanding $1 million ransom per person, although authorities are not clear whether that includes the five children being held, a top Haitian official told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The official, who wasn’t authorized to speak to the press, said someone from the 400 Mawozo gang called a ministry leader shortly after kidnapping the missionaries on Saturday and demanded the ransom. A person in contact with the organization, Christian Aid Ministries, also confirmed the $1 million per person demand, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. That source spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation.

The ages of the adults being held captive range from 18 to 48, while the children are 8 months, 3 years, 6 years, 13 years and 15 years, according to a statement from the organization on Tuesday. Sixteen of the abductees are Americans and one Canadian.

A recent wave of kidnappings prompted a protest strike that shuttered businesses, schools and public transportation starting Monday in a new blow to Haiti’s anemic economy. Unions and other groups vowed to continue the shutdown indefinitely.

FBI agents and other U.S. officials are helping Haitian authorities hunt for the missionary group who were kidnapped Saturday during a trip to visit an orphanage.

Psaki also condemned the latest missile launch from North Korea and said the US special representative for North Korea, Sung Kim, had already had meetings with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts to discuss the latest launch.

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