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(LEAD) S. Korea retrieves object seen as debris of N. Korean rocket engine
SEOUL, Dec. 28 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has retrieved what appears to be part of the engine from North Korea's long-range rocket launched earlier this month, a finding that could provide clues to the communist nation's rocket technologies, a military source said Friday.

"We recovered an object believed to be the engine debris of North Korea's long-range rocket last night from the bottom of the sea about 160 kilometers off" the western port city of Gunsan, the source said. "It appears to have been damaged a lot from the shock at the time of the crash."

Recovered debris from the North Korean rocket is displayed on Dec. 23. (Yonhap file photo)

North Korea successfully launched the Unha-3 rocket on Dec. 12 and put a satellite into orbit, fueling concerns Pyongyang is closer to developing intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons as far as the mainland U.S.