A North Korean official says the country has built nuclear weapons to cope with what it calls the "U.S. nuclear threat" and says the nation is prepared to counter any U.S. pre-emptive strike.

The state-run Korean Central News Service Tuesday quotes an unnamed North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying the United States should seek cooperation with North Korea rather than pressing it to abandon its nuclear program.

The spokesman made the comments in response to the U.S. National Security Strategy released last week, which says the United States will act pre-emptively to prevent hostile acts.

Six-nation talks over North Korea's nuclear program have been stalled since November. North Korea is demanding that U.S. economic sanctions against Pyongyang be lifted. Washington has rejected the demand, saying the sanctions are not related to the talks.

Some information for this report provided by AP.