Flood-hit North Korea turned down food aid from South Korea after initially accepting what would have been the first government aid shipment between the two estranged neighbors.

The South Korean government offered to send 10,000 metric tons of flour, 3 million packs of instant noodles and medicine through the Red Cross. An official at the Ministry of Unification said Tuesday that North Korea sent a reply, saying, “We don’t need that kind of offer”.

“We feel sorry that the North rejected the offer. But we still keep offering other humanitarian aid, regardless of military or political affairs,” the official said. South Korea withdrew its “nutritional aid” after North Korea demanded rice and cement instead, Korea JoongAng Daily reports.

The isolated economy is struggling with chronic food shortages that were exacerbated by recent floods that submerged its crop fields. North Korea sought international help in a rare move. Kim Jong-un met with Chinese officials in his first foray into diplomacy aiming to strengthen relations and develop the economy to “improve livelihoods of the North Korean people”. North Korea accepted tons of rice donations from Vietnam in a move to strengthen diplomatic relations.