"An inter-Korean summit will be difficult for the time being," President Roh Moo-Hyun told a New Year news conference.
"Only after the conclusion of the six-party talks (on the North's nuclear issue) would inter-Korean issues be fully tackled." said Roh, who has 12 months left in office.
His comment comes amid growing speculation that the ruling camp was pushing for an inter-Korean summit to influence South Korea's presidential election later this year. A possible inter-Korean summit can boost the popularity of the ruling party which has sought reconciliation with the North, according to polling agencies.
North and South Korea held their first-ever summit talks in 2000 which produced landmark agreements on cross-border cooperation and exchanges. But the cross-border reconciliatory mood has been overshadowed by the North's missile and nuclear tests last year.