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(LEAD) Military recovers debris of fuel container of N.K. rocket

2016/02/18 18:09

(ATTN: ADDS official's comments, more info in paras 3-5)

SEOUL, Feb. 18 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean military has retrieved what is presumed to be debris of a fuel container of a long-range rocket North Korea fired earlier this month, an official here said Thursday.

The military has been searching for the debris of the three-stage rocket to analyze the communist state's missile production capabilities.

"We picked up what appears to be debris of a fuel container attached to a propellant of the first-stage of the long-range rocket," said the Navy official on the customary condition of anonymity.

The official explained that the debris would be sent to the state-run Agency for Defense Development for analysis.

Should the debris be confirmed to be part of the fuel container, it would help in determining how far the North has come in its development of long-range missiles, observers noted.