SEOUL - Time ran out Friday on a proposal for rare inter-Korean military talks, with the North refusing to respond to the South's offer to open dialogue to ease simmering tension.
Seoul had proposed to hold the rare talks this week at the border truce village of Panmunjom to ease hostilities after a series of missile tests this year.
But the North has remained silent so far, prompting the South's defence ministry to admit that it was "practically" impossible for the meeting to go ahead.
"It is an urgent task to reduce tension between two Koreas... to achieve peace and stability of the Korean peninsula," a ministry spokesman Moon Sang-Kyun said.
"We urge the North again to respond to our talks proposal," he said.
The military talks would mark the first official such talks since December 2015.
The North has also remained silent on an offer made by the South's Red Cross to meet on August 1 and discuss potential reunions for families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.
Millions of families were separated by the conflict that sealed the division of the peninsula. Many died without getting a chance to see or hear from their relatives on the other side of the border, across which all civilian contacts are banned.