WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is welcoming South Korea's new leader Park Geun-hye (goon-hay) to the White House, looking to present a strong front against North Korea's nuclear threats but also to leave the door open to talks with Pyongyang.
Ahead of the meeting, U.S. officials said North Korea has taken a step back from its recent escalation of regional tensions by removing from their launch site a set of medium-range ballistic missiles that had been readied for possible test firing.
Park arrived Tuesday at the West Wing, with a color guard lining the driveway from Pennsylvania Avenue. Her visit marks the 60th anniversary of the U.S.-South Korean alliance. Her Oval Office meeting, working lunch and joint news conference with Obama will be followed Wednesday by an address to a joint meeting of Congress.