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US and allies must 'beef up' activities against terrorism and North Korea, ambassador to NATO says

  • The United States and its close allies must "beef up" activities in the fight against terrorism and other threats such as North Korea, Kay Bailey Hutchison says.
  • "We know that today NATO is facing some of our biggest tests," Hutchison says.

The United States and its close allies must "beef up" activities in the fight against terrorism and other threats such as North Korea, the U.S. ambassador to NATO told CNBC on Thursday.

"We know that today NATO is facing some of our biggest tests," Kay Bailey Hutchison, also a former Texas senator, said on "Squawk Box."

Hutchinson spoke as the U.S. deals with the aftermath of North Korea firing a ballistic missile over Japan earlier this week. On Thursday, Britain and Japan said they would cooperate in countering the threat posed by North Korea and will pledge closer ties in defense, cybersecurity and counterterrorism.

Members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization "have stepped up to the plate" to combat known threats, Hutchison said, and have agreed "we need to be more productive in anti-terrorism."

"I think there are a lot of real threats and I think we need to beef up the activities to address those common threats," she added. "I think our allies are ready to say and actually have said already that we are going to deter nuclear activities, we're going to speak with one voice."

Hutchison said the U.S. and its allies have already faced big tests with Afghanistan.

In a prime-time address to the nation last week, President Donal Trump said he would ramp up engagement in Afghanistan, reversing his past calls to pull American troops out of the country.

Trump, who won the White House in part on a promise to reduce intervention in conflicts overseas, said, "The American people are weary of war without victory."

"Our country is going to go forward with a more robust effort to assure that there are no terror cells that are fermenting in Afghanistan and the surrounding areas," Hutchison said.

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