Obama, SKorea leader discuss NKorea talks offer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama and South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye (goon-hay) have discussed North Korea’s proposal for high-level talks with the U.S.

The two leaders spoke by phone Sunday evening ahead of Obama’s trip to Northern Ireland for G-8 meetings. The White House says they discussed security issues and agreed to coordinate closely on efforts to achieve a nuclear-free North Korea.

The call comes after North Korea issued a surprise proposal Sunday to hold nuclear and security talks without preconditions, reversing course after months of rising tensions and anti-American rhetoric by Pyongyang. The U.S. says it’s receptive but wants credible negotiations that include the North’s nuclear program.

The White House says Obama and Park also discussed Obama’s recent summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng).

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