Tokyo: The South Korean military on Wednesday said that it had salvaged the wreckage of a North Korean spy satellite that had been launched in May but had crashed into the Yellow Sea, concluding that it had "no military utility," Kyodo News reported.

According to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, scientists from South Korea and the United States conducted an analysis of the wreckage and determined that the satellite could not be used for military reconnaissance.

On May 31, North Korea attempted but failed to launch a military spy satellite into orbit.

Pyongyang confirmed the satellite launch failed the same day but promised to try again "as soon as possible," according to the country's state media.

Earlier, on June 19, North Korea called its failed attempt to launch the military reconnaissance satellite launch "most serious," Pyongyang's state media, Korean Central News Agency reported.

The part of N Korea's spy sattelite salvaged by South Korean military. (Photo Credit: Reuters)
The part of N Korea's spy satellite salvaged by South Korean military

"The most serious one was the failure of the military reconnaissance satellite launch, the important strategic work in the field of space development, on May 31," the KCNA said in an English-language dispatch.

On May 31, North Korea attempted to use the Chollima-1 to put its first spy satellite into orbit, but the rocket experienced problems and crashed into the ocean. This was the nuclear-armed nation's sixth attempt to launch a satellite, and its first since 2016.

The North made the assessment following a plenary meeting of the 8th Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea on June 19, attended by leader Kim Jong-un.

In a statement, KCNA said that the development of military reconnaissance satellites is of very great significance in the prospect of the development of the armed forces of North Korea and in making full preparations for combat.

The KCNA had earlier said that officials who were responsible for the launch were "bitterly" criticized.

"The report bitterly criticized the officials who irresponsibly conducted the preparations for satellite launch, and set forth the militant task for officials and scientists in the relevant field to make a thorough analysis of the cause and lesson of the recent failure, successfully launch the military reconnaissance satellite in a short span of time and thus make a shortcut to improving the capabilities of the Korean People's Army's reconnaissance intelligence and achieving a greater leap forward in the field of space development, bearing deep in mind their important mission," KCNA said earlier.

Pyongyang has vowed to "correctly" put the satellite into orbit soon despite global condemnation that the move breaches multiple UN Security Council resolutions banning any launch using ballistic missile technology, as per Yonhap News Agency.

During the key meeting, participants reviewed the goals it had laid out for the first half, such as increasing grain production and building new homes for economic development, and set forth new agenda items, including the "epoch-making measures for developing education" and the "important measures for intensifying the building of the Party discipline," according to Yonhap News Agency.