Obama calls South Korea's Park
US President Barack Obama consulted by phone with South Korean President Park Geun-Hye following North Korea's proposal for new talks with Washington, officials said Monday.
The call, which took place Sunday night, also gave Obama a chance to update Park on his talks with new Chinese President Xi Jinping in California this month, the White House said.
"The two presidents discussed recent developments with respect to the Korean Peninsula, and agreed to continue close communication and coordination on actions to pursue the denuclearisation of North Korea," a White House statement said.
Obama flew Sunday night to Northern Ireland for the G8 summit, after a top aide, chief of staff Denis McDonough, welcomed the North's offer of talks after recent tensions, but said it must first curb its nuclear program.
"We'll judge them by their actions, not by the nice words that we heard yesterday," McDonough told CBS News's "Face the Nation" when asked about the offer of high-level negotiations on the denuclearisation of the divided peninsula.
"The bottom line is they're not going to be able to talk their way out of very significant sanctions they're under now, sanctions that Russia supported and -- very importantly -- that China supported."
Tensions have run high on the peninsula since the North's third nuclear test in February, which triggered new UN sanctions that ignited an angry response from Pyongyang, including threats of nuclear attacks on Seoul and Washington.
But on Sunday the North's powerful National Defense Commission issued a statement carried by state media calling for negotiations with Washington.