Military completes retrieval of N. Korean missile debris
SEOUL, Feb. 20 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean military said Saturday it has completed collecting debris from the three-stage rocket North Korea launched earlier this month, successfully collecting two pieces of debris presumed to be from the launch.
"It is difficult to collect other debris as they are dispersed in small pieces throughout the water. We believe there are no more significant debris left," a military official said.
On Feb. 7 North Korea launched a long-range rocket carrying an Earth observation satellite in what the outside world believes was a test of the country's long-range missile technology.
The first stage of the rocket and the fairing landed in waters near South Korea as it flew over the Yellow Sea and Japan towards the direction of the Philippines.
It had splashed down in some 270 pieces after exploding during midair detachment, according to the military, which said the North may have designed the automatic explosion in order to avoid the exposure of their rocket technology.