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Pyongyang’s space rocket wreckage retrieved by South Korean military

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The South Korean military on Friday recovered a large piece of debris from a North Korean missile, said to be two weeks after it crashed.

The piece is believed to be the second stage of a missile carrying a North Korean military reconnaissance satellite, which failed to launch at the end of May.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said Friday that the cylindrical piece of debris was recovered from the Yellow Sea on Thursday night.

According to South Korean radio reports, the 12-meter piece was to be brought ashore to a naval base for joint analysis with American experts.

South Korea hopes the investigation will provide more clues about the status of North Korea’s missile development. Space and long-range missiles are largely based on the same technology.

North Korea admitted the technical failure shortly after it launched its first military reconnaissance satellite on May 31.

The missile fell into the sea, 200 kilometers west of Iochong Island, South Korea. The military in Seoul had said at the time that they had pulled something out of the water that may have been part of the ill-fated missile. The search for other parts continues.

The failed launch was condemned by the United States, Japan and South Korea, and accused Pyongyang of using technology directly related to its intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) program.

Despite bans by UN resolutions, North Korea has increased the range of its tests with ballistic missiles, which – by design – can also be equipped with a nuclear warhead. The country is largely isolated internationally and has not paid much attention to the United Nations

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