U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is praising South Korea's new president for what he calls her "firm, but measured" response to provocations by North Korea.
The topic of North Korea dominated a meeting Monday at the United Nations between the South Korean-born U.N. chief and South Korean President Park Geun-hye. Ms. Park is beginning a five-day visit to the United States which will also take her to Washington and California.
The U.N. leader said he is ready to contribute to defusing tension and promoting peace on the Korean peninsula. He also expressed concern about the serious food situation in North Korea.
Ms. Park and Mr. Ban also discussed sustainable development, the fight against climate change, and energy production.
On Tuesday, President Park meets with U.S. President Barack Obama for a White House summit that is expected to focus on coordinating their ideas on how to deal with North Korea, following recent threats from that country to attack both South Korea and the United States.
The South Korean leader is also scheduled to address a joint meeting of Congress on Wednesday.
President Park, who is heading a delegation of more than 50 South Korean business leaders, will stop in Los Angeles Thursday to meet with Korean entrepreneurs.