SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea is vowing to bolster its nuclear program in response to a U.S. State Department report accusing Pyongyang of human rights abuses.

Pyongyang's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday called the annual U.S. report proof of a hostile policy by Washington that's aimed at toppling North Korea's leadership.

The State Department last week cited defectors' reports of extrajudicial killings, disappearances, arbitrary detention, arrests of political prisoners and torture.

Last month, Pyongyang also condemned a U.N. resolution approving a formal probe into suspected widespread rights violations.

Pyongyang has eased the near-daily war threats that characterized its public statements for weeks. But animosity lingers.

Pyongyang has rejected offers of dialogue from Washington and Seoul. It says U.S.-South Korean military drills set to end next week are meant as invasion preparation.

 

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