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Rex Tillerson hopes for opening after North Korea 'restraint'

Pakistan denies sheltering the Taliban, but Mr Tillerson suggested it could lose United States privileges if the government failed "to change their posture".

Mr Trump, in a live primetime TV broadcast on Monday, reneged on previous vows to pull USA forces from Afghanistan.

The US and Pakistan have long maintained a close security partnership, with the US providing hundreds of millions of dollars in security assistance to Islamabad in recent years.

"All of that can be put on the table", Tillerson told reporters at the State Department.

"It is in Pakistan's interest to take those actions".

"It is vital to U.S. interests that Afghanistan and Pakistan prevent terrorist sanctuaries", he added. And Tillerson added that, "the only way we can defeat an enemy that is as nimble and as cagey, tactically, as this enemy is, we have to be as cagey and tactical as they are. This is not a situation where the U.S. is saying "this is us and you". North Korean state-run media said that the country's military could strike the USA at anytime and that neither Guam, Hawaii nor the U.S. mainland could avoid the "merciless strike".

Pakistan has for years deflected U.S. criticism over the issue of safe havens for Taliban and other militants active in Afghanistan.

In addition to seeking Pakistan's cooperation, a major pillar of Trump's new policy is seeking support from Islamabad's arch-rival, India.

Last night, President Donald Trump spoke to the nation about his new strategy in Afghanistan.

He offered U.S. help to deal with any blowback from a crackdown on the militants.

In his Monday address to troops at Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia, Trump offered few specifics, but he did outline reasons for his decision to extend and expand the United States presence in Afghanistan, a reversal from his strident past criticism of previous administrations for involvement there.

"I wonder if Kim Jong Un will interpret Tillerson's remark as a positive gesture or a challenge to which he will respond with a missile test", she said.

Tillerson was expanding on Trump's Monday speech that laid out the administration's approach to the war of nearly 16 years, which has claimed more than 2,000 USA lives and billions of dollars since it was launched by President George W. Bush in October 2001.

He said his new approach would be more pragmatic and based on conditions on the ground rather than idealistic and time-based, and would switch from nation building to "killing terrorists".

Mr Trump refused to say on Monday if he had agreed to raise the number of United States troops in Afghanistan, although media reports said he had signed off on raising the American deployment by 4000.

Washington is thought to be ready to send up to 4,000 additional troops. The US president vowed to continue support for the Afghan authorities in their fight against Islamic extremists, and called on Pakistan to expel at once all terrorist groups.

The Taliban promised to make Afghanistan a "graveyard" for U.S. forces.

"We are there to facilitate and ensure that there is a pathway for reconciliation and peace talks", Tillerson said.

The Afghan government continues to battle insurgency groups and controls just half of the country.



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