North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho says Pyongyang will never negotiate over its nuclear weapons as long as the U.S. maintains its hostile policies.  

Ri made the remark on Wednesday to Russia's state-run TASS news agency in Pyongyang when asked about conditions for talks between Washington and Pyongyang. 

The North Korean diplomat repeated claims that the North's nuclear deterrence is for self-defense to protect itself from U.S. nuclear threats.

Ri then claimed that his country is nearing its goal of achieving a nuclear capability to counter any U.S. threat, calling it a "real balance of power with Washington."

Regarding the government of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Ri said inter-Korean relations will remain strained as long as Seoul blindly follows and supports the U.S. and pressures Pyongyang with sanctions.