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Story highlights

"It's time for them to behave, to listen to the world community," Pence said

Tensions on the peninsula have ratcheted up in recent weeks

(CNN) —  

Vice President Mike Pence says North Korea is getting the message that it needs to walk away from its “reckless” nuclear activity.

“As the President says, it’s time for them to behave, to listen to the world community and to set aside their nuclear ambitions, their ballistic missile ambitions, and be willing to join the family of nations,” Pence told CNN Tuesday.

Tensions on the peninsula have ratcheted up in recent weeks amid saber-rattling from the US and North Korea and analysts’ warnings that North Korea is preparing for a sixth nuclear test. Trump administration officials in recent days have said the Obama administration’s strategy of “strategic patience” is over.

But the vice president said he is encouraged and believes North Korea is listening to the Trump administration’s concerns.

“For my part, in some odd way, it’s encouraging that they’re getting the message,” Pence said. “My hope is that they’ll continue to get the message not just from the United States, here in Japan, and in South Korea, but on an increasing basis from China and countries all over the world committing to a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.”

The vice president is in Asia as part of a multi-country trip intended to lay out the administration’s policies to US allies in the region and to offer an opportunity for him to develop personal relationships with world and business leaders. The vice president’s tour also includes stops in Seoul, Tokyo, Jakarta, Sydney and Hawaii.

“We’ve moved beyond failed dialogues of the past and now we’ve moved into an era where President Trump is absolutely committed to marshaling the energy of the world community, of countries in the Asian-Pacific, to use economic and diplomatic power to isolate North Korea and achieve the goal of a denuclearized Korean Peninsula,” he said.

While in Seoul Monday, the vice president warned North Korea not to test the resolve of the US “or the strength of our military forces,” following a failed North Korean missile test.

CNN’s Abigail Crutchfield contributed to this report.