The Khmer Rouge's second-in-command says the regime focused its revolution in the countryside because people there were poor and easily indoctrinated.

Nuon Chea testified as the U.N.-backed trial of three aging top leaders in the movement resumed Tuesday after a three-week holiday recess.

He and ex-head of state Khieu Samphan and the former foreign minister, Ieng Sary, are accused of crimes against humanity during the Khmer Rouge's 1975-79 reign of terror in which an estimated 1.7 million people died.

Nuon Chea and the others have defended the Khmer Rouge and their own actions as attempts to help Cambodians by creating a pure agrarian socialist society.