President Obama will discuss the security threat posed by North Korea and global economic issues Tuesday in his first meeting with South Korea's new president, Park Geun-hye.
The two leaders will meet at the White House -- first in the Oval Office, then over a working lunch with a broader range of advisers. Following those meetings Obama and Park, who became South Korea's first female president in February, will hold a joint news conference.
The visit is Park's first overseas trip as president, and comes as the United States and South Korea mark the 60th anniversary of their mutual defense treaty.
Daniel Russel, the National Security Council's senior director for Asian Affairs, said Monday that the leaders would discuss a range of common interests, but that he expected North Korea's bellicose recent actions to define the visit.
“Solidarity on North Korea is going to be the hallmark of this meeting," Russel told reporters.
Obama had a strong working relationship with Park's predecessor, Lee Myung-bak, with whom he reached a free-trade agreement after difficult negotiations. Obama and Park have spoken by phone amid the North Korean threats, but this will be their first face-to-face meeting.