South Korea says it will not stage another large-scale rescue of North Korean refugees.
South Korean Unification Minister Chung Dong-young told reporters Tuesday that Seoul has no plans to repeat last July's airlift of 468 North Korean refugees from a third country that was never officially identified but believed to be Vietnam.
The mass defection angered North Korea, which responded by boycotting ministerial talks in August.
Analysts say Mr. Chung's comments may be part of efforts by South Korea to encourage North Korea to resume bilateral talks.
Last month, South Korea announced it would strengthen background checks on North Koreans seeking asylum in the South, as well as cut financial subsidies to North Korean defectors.
Some information for this report provided by Reuters.