N.Korea 'Sought China's Help to Salvage Crashed Rocket'

  • By Choi Kyung-woon

    June 19, 2023 13:29

    North Korea asked China to salvage the wreckage of a rocket carrying a purported military spy satellite right after it crashed into the West Sea on May 31, South Korean intelligence authorities say.
    Suspecting that North Korea would attempt to salvage the wreckage with China's help before South Korea could get to it, the military here deployed several warships around the search area, intelligence authorities said last Friday.
    Any country that salvages a projectile that has crashed into international waters has first rights to it, and the North clearly wanted to avoid its rocket technology from falling into South Korean hands.
    A part of a North Korean space rocket salvaged from West Sea is displayed to the press at the Second Naval Fleet Command in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province on Friday. It bears the word "Chonma," meaning Pegasus, plus logo. /Yonhap
    Intelligence authorities suspect that the regime has not yet solved the technical glitch that bedeviled the launch or it would have made another attempt to place a satellite in orbit already.
    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's sister Yo-jong said in a statement early this month that the North will continue to launch military spy satellites.
    An intelligence source claimed the North Korean leadership is "unusually agitated" because it has failed to completely solve technical problems with the rocket.
    Indeed, North Korea called the failure the "most serious shortcomings that cannot be overlooked" in a meeting of the Workers' Party on Sunday and reaffirmed its pledge to put a satellite into orbit soon, state media reported.
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