In a change of tone, Park, although a conservative, has advocated trying to build trust with Pyongyang through aid shipments and large-scale economic initiatives if there's progress on the nuclear issue, even as she and South Korea's military promise to respond forcefully to any attack from the North.
Obama made clear Tuesday that there continues to be no daylight between the White House and the new South Korean leader.
"If Pyongyang thought its recent threats would drive a wedge between South Korea and the United States or somehow garner the North international respect, today is further evidence that North Korea has failed again," he said.
Park arrived at the White House with a color guard lining the driveway from Pennsylvania Avenue. 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.
"My daughters have taught me a pretty good 'Gangnam Style,'" Obama joked, a reference to the hit dance song by South Korean singer PSY that has become YouTube's most watched video with 1.5 billion views since its release last summer.