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New SKorea president welcomed at White House

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President Barack Obama, right, and South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, left, during their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) President Barack Obama, right, and South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, left, during their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Visiting South Korea President Park Geun-hye, center left, is escorted by Maj. Gen. Michael Linnington, as they march past the colors of American states, during a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. Visiting South Korea President Park Geun-hye, center left, is escorted by Maj. Gen. Michael Linnington, as they march past the colors of American states, during a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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