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Military continues salvage operation for North Korean rocket debris

June 3, 2023 - 10:57 By Yonhap

This handout photo taken on Wednesday and provided by South Korean Defence Ministry in Seoul shows an object presumed to be part of North Korea's claimed "Space Launch Vehicle" being salvaged by South Korea's military in waters 200 kilometers west of Eocheong Island in the Yellow Sea. (Yonhap)

The South Korean military continued its operation Saturday to search and salvage the wreckage of a North Korean rocket that crashed into the Yellow Sea.

Deep-sea divers from the Sea Salvage and Rescue Unit were deployed to the remote sea, 200 kilometers west of the western island of Eocheong, military officials said.

The North launched what it claimed to be a satellite-carrying rocket Wednesday. But it crashed into the sea due to the abnormal starting of the second-stage engine, the North's state media said.

The salvage operation involves divers attaching high-strength ropes to the 15-meter-long debris, which sank to a depth of 75 meters on the seafloor. Three salvage ships have been deployed to the area for the operation.

The space vehicle, named Chollima-1, is estimated to have a length ranging from 29 to 30 meters.

The debris spotted by the South Korean military Wednesday is believed to be the second and third stages of the launch vehicle.

Officials said there is a possibility of finding the military reconnaissance satellite, Malligyong-1, mounted on the rocket. (Yonhap)