North Korea has turned down South Korea's proposal for Red Cross working-level talks.
The North said through the inter-Korean hotline on Thursday that a good atmosphere for discussing reunions for war-separated families has not been created.
It also noted the issue of holding the reunions on a regular basis should not be discussed between Red Cross officials.
Experts had earlier speculated the North would want to hold talks at a higher level.
Seoul's unification ministry said it's currently reviewing what steps to take next.
North Korea's response comes a day after the South offered to meet for Red Cross talks next Wednesday.
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