Negotiations to win the freedom of 19 South Korean hostages held in Afghanistan have stalled.
Face to face talks between South Korean officials and Taleban militants broke down last week after the kidnappers released two female hostages in what they called a gesture of goodwill.
Taleban spokesmen say South Korean negotiators have asked for more time.
The militants have already executed two male hostages and are threatening to kill the rest if the Afghan government does not release Taleban prisoners.
Kabul has ruled out a prisoner swap.
Taleban militants abducted the group of 23 Koreans more than a month ago as they traveled by bus to southern Afghanistan to do charity work on behalf of their Christian church.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.