WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has told South Korea's president he understands her decision to postpone a White House visit set for next week.

President Park Geun-hye (goon-hay) has decided to stay home to focus on an outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome that has killed more than a dozen people since last month. Scores more have been diagnosed with the virus.

The White House says Obama spoke with his counterpart Thursday night and that both agreed to reschedule her visit. A new date has not been announced.

Park was to meet with Obama Tuesday at the White House.

Obama also offered condolences to the South Korean people and to families that have lost loved one to MERS.