Washington: The Pentagon Friday evening (local time) said that another Chinese spy balloon was spotted flying over Latin America, a day after US officials said that they tracking a similar surveillance balloon making its way across the United States airspace.
“We are seeing reports of a balloon transiting Latin America. We now assess it is another Chinese surveillance balloon,” press secretary Brigadier General Patrick Ryder said in a statement to CNN.
While it was unclear exactly where the balloon was over Latin America – a US official told CNN that it does not appear to be currently heading to the United States.
Meanwhile, in a Twitter video posted by Inside Paper, the video appears to show an explosion over Billings, Montana.
The US Northern Command is coordinating with NASA to determine what the debris field would be if the balloon floating above the United States were to be shot down, according to a defense official.
Officials said they were still tracking the suspected Chinese spy balloon as it travels across the United States. The Pentagon said it does not currently pose a threat and that it is expected to remain over the US for the next couple of days.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken postponed his trip to China this weekend in light of the incident, which he called a “clear violation of our sovereignty,” but said lines of communication will remain open to resolve the issue.
President Joe Biden was first briefed on the balloon Tuesday and has been receiving continued updates from the National Security team, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. Top leaders of the House and Senate intelligence committees will be briefed next week on the Chinese spy balloon, according to a spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.