At the outset of his meeting with Abe, Pence said that "While all options are on the table", Trump was determined to work with Japan, South Korea and other allies in the region to resolve the problem. But no one was predicting what might come next.
A fresh U.S. warning to North Korea and the Chinese government's description of the situation in the Korean peninsula as sensitive and fraught with risk show that the explosive situation that has developed there in the last few days continues without abatement.
North Korea plans to continue its regular missile tests and has threatened the United States that any military action against it would prompt "all-out war", according to a senior North Korean official.
Pence arrived in Tokyo on Tuesday from South Korea, where he visited the heavily fortified border separating the North and South.
"I will continue having constructive talks with Mr Pence so as to deepen the win-win economic relations between Japan and the United States", he said.
North Korea's UN deputy representative, Kim In Ryong, on Monday announced at a press conference that his country is ready for any war scenarios and rhetoric aimed at the United States.
Kim stressed that U.S.
"If the U.S.is planning a military attack against us, we will react with a nuclear pre-emptive strike by our own style and method", Han said.
America's implied threat of force isn't new, nor is hope for engagement.
In an exclusive interview with Fox & Friends that aired on Tuesday, President Trump revealed he may not be sure who now rules North Korea.
Pence pointed to Trump's recent strikes on a Syrian airbase and an Islamic State complex in Afghanistan as a warning to Pyongyang not to underestimate the administration's resolve.
Until recently, it has been Trump's confrontational tone that has drawn attention rather than his action.More news: US Intercepts Two Russian Bombers Off Alaska's Coast
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who met with Japan's trade minister, Hiroshige Seko, earlier Tuesday, said he hopes to soon begin talks on a free trade agreement with Japan.
In the comments to Fox News, Trump cited the strength of his newfound relationship with President Xi Jinping in explaining why he has dropped his past criticism of China. But the vice president expressed impatience with the unwillingness of North Korea to move toward ridding itself of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
It should be noted that the DPRK's push to create and then expand its nuclear weapons program has been a political thorn in the side of the last three presidents, all of whom decided that "strategic patience" would be the United States' response to the continued build-up.
The White House also maintained that the strike on Syria was exclusively for what it called "humanitarian reasons" when Trump announced the strike while hosting a summit with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
North Korea has accelerated its nuclear and missile tests in recent years, despite global condemnation and United Nations sanctions. "But at every step of the way, North Korea answered our overtures with willful deception, broken promises and nuclear and missile tests".
Former President Obama, too, tried to persuade China to use its influence over Pyongyang.
"But at the same time", the prime minister said, "dialogue for the sake of dialogue is valueless and it is necessary for us to exercise pressure North Korea so that it comes forward and engages in this serious dialogue".
During the 2016 election, Trump frequently complained that Chinese leaders were outmaneuvering the USA to increase exports and pledged to label China a currency manipulator on his first day in office, a move he subsequently did not take.
"I don't think that you're going to see the President drawing red lines in the sand, but I think that the action that he took in Syria shows that, when appropriate, this president will take decisive action", he said He also said he expected China to play a "much more active role with respect to North Korea, both politically and economically".
Abe said that it was a "matter of paramount importance for us to seek diplomatic efforts as well peaceable settlements of the issue".
Trump warned on Monday that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has "gotta behave" when asked about the situation by a reporter at the annual White House Easter egg roll.