The U.S. military says an aircraft carrier participated in curtailed training with Australia before starting its journey north toward the Korean Peninsula.
"We are with you 100 percent", he said, adding that the U.S.
The United States is not seeking to negotiate with North Korea and it is not in direct talks "at this time" with the rogue Asian nation, Vice President Mike Pence told CNN and the Washington Post Wednesday.
The Pacific Command statement said the Carl Vinson canceled a scheduled visit to Australia after leaving Singapore on April 8, but completed a shortened training exercise off northwestern Australia before heading north.
"Most concerning is the fact that the US trade deficit with South Korea has more than doubled since the KORUS came into effect".
Pence's advisers said the vice president would make the case to Abe and Aso that the US rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, under Trump does not signal a USA withdrawal from trade and economic development in the region.
Pence also said the USA would protect freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, the sea lanes vital to global shipping where China has been staking claim to disputed territory.
Approval ratings for Trump's performance, according to many recent polls, is at record lows for a new commander in chief, but Pence said he "couldn't be more proud" to be a part of the current administration.
The U.S. Pacific Command said in a statement Wednesday that the USS Carl Vinson strike group is heading to the western Pacific "as a prudent measure".
Vice President Mike Pence is meeting Indonesia's president and other top officials in Jakarta with trade and commercial disputes expected to be on the agenda. "That's the hard truth", Pence told the meeting.
Pence was having lunch with Abe at the prime minister's official residence after arriving in Japan earlier in the day for the second stop of a 10-day Asia tour. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has sought to expand Japan's defense role and capability in the face of North Korea's threat and China's increasing assertive maritime activity in the East and South China Seas. "We believe that through discussions and negotiations among nations apart from North Korea that we may well be able to bring the kind of economic and diplomatic pressure that would result in North Korea finally abandoning its nuclear ambitions and its ballistic missile program".