North Korea is criticizing U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for what it calls her "reckless" criticism of its human rights record.
A Foreign Ministry spokesman said Sunday that the North's arms industry now has the capacity to "steadily boost its nuclear deterrent" and will do so as long as Washington maintains a hostile policy.
Clinton said Thursday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un must improve life for what she called his oppressed people or face a backlash.
Animosity is high after a North Korean rocket launch in April that Washington and Seoul called a cover for a test of banned long-range missile technology. North Korea says it planned to put a satellite into orbit.