1245 GMT January 18, 2019
He also warned that North Korea, which will participate in this month's Winter Olympics as part of a joint delegation with South Korea, would not be allowed to "hijack" the event with its "propaganda", AFP wrote.
"I'm announcing today that the United States will soon unveil the toughest and most aggressive round of economic sanctions on North Korea," Pence said, standing alongside Shinzo Abe after talks on Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear programs.
"Let the world know this: We will continue to intensify our maximum pressure campaign until North Korea takes concrete steps towards complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization," he added.
President Donald Trump has criticized the policy of previous US administrations towards North Korea and has already convinced the global community to significantly tighten sanctions against Pyongyang.
Pence stressed Wednesday that "all options are on the table" and pledged that Washington would continue to deploy some of its "most advanced military assets to Japan and the wider region" to confront North Korea.
North and South Korea have, at least temporarily, put aside their enmity to allow Pyongyang to send athletes to the Games, an opening that some see as an opportunity to push for a negotiated settlement.
But Pence warned that North Korea would not be allowed to instrumentalize the Games.
"We will not allow North Korean propaganda to hijack the message and imagery of the Olympic Games," he said.
Tensions have been building on the Korean Peninsula following a series of nuclear and missile tests by Pyongyang as well as threats of war and personal insults traded between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Trump and other senior US officials have threatened North Korea with destruction if it continues nuclear “provocations.”
The US has been in a constant tussle with North Korea over its weapons programs. Washington says those programs pose a threat to the US and its allies while North Korea says it needs to develop its military strength to guard against potential invasion by the US and its allies.