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North Korea will never surrender nuclear arms, says envoy

GENEVA, Aug 22 (Reuters) - North Korea's self-defensive nuclear deterrence arsenal will never be on the negotiating table, a Pyongyang envoy said on Tuesday.

Ju Yong Chol, a North Korean diplomat, spoke at a U.N.-sponsored Conference on Disarmament after the U.S. disarmament ambassador Robert Wood said that President Donald Trump's "top priority" was to protect the United States and its allies against the "growing threat" from North Korea.

"The measures taken by the DPRK (North Korea) to strengthen its nuclear deterrence and develop inter-continental rockets is justifiable and a legitimate option for self-defence in the face of such apparent and real threats," Ju told the Geneva forum, referring to "constant nuclear threats" by the United States.

"...As long as the U.S. hostile policy and nuclear threat remains unchallenged, the DPRK will never place its self-defensive nuclear deterrence on the negotiating table." (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by John Stonestreet)