North Korea has lashed out at Japan's new defense guidelines.

An editorial in the official Rodon Sinmun newspaper Sunday says Japan has adopted the so-called "U.S. vicious hostile policy" toward North Korea, and is joining in U.S. efforts to "stifle" the Pyongyang government.

Japan's new defense plan, adopted in December, eased a ban on weapons exports, allowing the country to pursue a missile defense program with Washington. The plan also singled out the threats posed by North Korean missiles.

The North Korean comments follow a meeting in Washington Saturday top diplomatic and defense officials from both the United States and Japan. The two sides issued a joint statement saying North Korea's nuclear program poses a serious challenge to the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.