North Korea rebuffed an initial attempt to reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula, describing an offer of talks with South Korea as nothing more than a "cunning ploy".
Despite calls by the US and its regional allies to come to the negotiating table, Pyongyang, which has threatened to attack the US, South Korea and Japan, said the offer was an effort to "hide the South's policy of confrontation".
It added that there could be no negotiation until South Korea and the US end their annual joint military drills on the peninsula.
"Under these circumstances, is it possible to hold a dialogue?" a spokesman said.
South Korea made no comment. John Kerry, the US secretary of state, said North Korea had to understand that "its threats and provocations are only going to isolate it further". (© Daily Telegraph, London)