Pence said the North represents the most unsafe and most immediate threat in the Asia-Pacific and President Donald Trump is determined to confront that threat by marshaling unprecedented cooperation with allies in the region, China and the world.
The Trump team has signaled it intends to chart a new path when it comes to dealing with North Korea, though analysts say there aren't too many new options to try. ECONOMY Planned fiscal stimulus from Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress could pose an "upside risk" to the US economy, Kansas City Federal Reserve President Esther George says, adding she is not yet forecasting it will materialize.
"It is our belief by bringing together the family of nations with diplomatic and economic pressure we have a chance of achieving a freeze on the Korean Peninsula", Pence said. North Korea would do well not to test his resolve or the strength of the armed forces of the United States in this region.
The Trump administration has signaled a more forceful United States stance toward North Korea's recent missile tests and threats, including a warning from Trump that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has "gotta behave".
Trade was also a major topic of conversation.
Pence, who is in Seoul as part of his Asia-Pacific trip, mentioned beneficial effects of the FTA with South Korea, citing expanded two-way trade and more inflows of investment into the US since the deal went into effect.
A White House foreign policy adviser travelling with Pence said no US response to the missile launch was expected because there was no need for the U.S.to reinforce the failure. "We certainly recognize that that was a failed missile test".
Trump wrote Sunday on Twitter that China was working with the United States on "the North Korea problem".
Defence officials from the United States, South Korea and Japan, who were in Tokyo for trilateral security talks, said in a statement North Korea should give up its weapons development irrevocably.
The Trump administration has said that it is reviewing all options on North Korea, including those involving military action, but Defense Secretary James Mattis is also underscoring the need for a non-military solution.
"The President's decision to launch cruise missiles into Syria at the very airbase that launched a horrific chemical attack, which was the right decision", he said.
Pushing his "America First" agenda, Trump has ordered a country-by-country, product-by-product review to determine the reasons for the USA trade deficits, saying he aims to promote "fair" trade.
But any strikes against the North would probably bring the U.S. into a diplomatic crisis with China, the North's main economic lifeline.
Into this tense environment, Mr. Pence made his first trip to the region since taking office in January.
Tension has been building on the peninsula in recent days, amid warnings that the country's nuclear site is "primed and ready" for another test.
The unannounced visit Monday at the start of his 10-day trip to Asia was a USA show of force that allowed the vice president to gaze at North Korean soldiers from afar and stare directly across a border marked by razor wire.