The announcement came after Gen Kim Yong-chol met South Korean President Moon Jae-in before the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics.
The US state department responded by saying nuclear disarmament must be the end goal of “any dialogue”.
“We will see if Pyongyang’s message today, that it is willing to hold talks, represents the first steps,” it said in a statement.
Pyongyang has not confirmed the offer, but it has often said it is willing to talk without any preconditions.
US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka also attended the closing ceremony, but she is not expected to talk with any North Koreans, even though she sat a few feet from Gen Kim at the Olympic Stadium.