The North and South Korean delegations meet at the border village of Panmunjom last week. The talks quickly fell apart.
The White House says it's open to "senior-level" talks proposed by North Korea, but only if Pyongyang lives up to its U.N. obligations to dismantle its nuclear weapons program.
National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said Sunday that North Korea must meet "its obligations to the world." The U.S. will judge Pyongyang by "its actions and not its words," she said.
Earlier Sunday, Pyongyang proposed the high-level discussions with the U.S. just days after its direct talks with rival South Korea fell apart.
Reuters reports that representatives from the U.S., South Korea and Japan planned to meet in Washington this week to discuss the North Korean proposal.
As The Associated Press writes:
"Foreign analysts expressed skepticism over the North Korean proposal, saying the impoverished country often calls for talks after raising tensions with provocative behavior in order to win outside concessions.
The rare proposal for talks between the Korean War foes follows months of acrimony over North Korea's defiant launch of a long-range rocket in December and a nuclear test in February, provocative acts that drew tightened U.N. and U.S. sanctions. The U.S. and South Korea countered the moves by stepping up annual springtime military exercises that prompted North Korea to warn of a "nuclear war" on the Korean Peninsula."