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S. Korean military continues operation to salvage N. Korean rocket debris

June 4, 2023 - 19:12 By Yonhap

his photo, provided by South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff on May 31, 2023, shows an object believed to be part of North Korea's space launch vehicle that was discovered in the Yellow Sea. (Joint Chiefs of Staff)

The South Korean military continued its work Sunday to search and salvage the wreckage of a North Korean rocket that crashed into the Yellow Sea earlier this week but wrapped up the day's operations due to unfavorable conditions.

The rocket, that the North claimed was carrying a satellite, crashed into the waters some 200 kilometers west of the western South Korean island of Eocheong on Wednesday morning after an "abnormal flight," Seoul's military had said.

The Navy has been trying to recover a 15-meter part of the vehicle, named Chollima-1. It is estimated to have a length ranging from 29 to 30 meters.

On Saturday, the military deployed deep-sea divers from the Sea Salvage and Rescue Unit to the remote area to attach high-strength ropes to the debris, which sank to a depth of 75 meters on the seafloor.

In a message sent to reporters at around 5 p.m., the Joint Chiefs of Staff said it will wrap up the operation for the day due to unfavorable conditions and resume Monday.

"Depending on the circumstances at the site tomorrow, we plan to conduct salvage operations," it said.

Apart from the debris spotted by the South Korean military Wednesday, which is believed to be the second and third stages of the launch vehicle, officials have not found additional parts.

South Korea and the United States plan to jointly examine the debris of the wreckage once it is retrieved. (Yonhap)