By Arpan Rai, The Independent
3rd February 2023 – (Ottawa) Canada’s national defence confirmed on Friday a potential second incident of a suspected Chinese spy balloon and said that officials are monitoring it.
“A high-altitude surveillance balloon was detected and its movements are being actively tracked by [North American Aerospace Defense Command] NORAD,” the national defence said in a statement.
“Canadians are safe and Canada is taking steps to ensure the security of its airspace, including the monitoring of a potential second incident,” the statement added.
Officials from NORAD, the Canadian Armed Forces, the Department of National Defence, and other partners have been assessing the situation and working in close coordination, it said.
The national defence command said that the Canadian intelligence agencies are working with American partners and “continue to take all necessary measures to safeguard Canada’s sensitive information from foreign intelligence threats”.
“We remain in frequent contact with our American allies as the situation develops,” the national defence said.
This alert from Canadian defence officials comes just hours after the US military said it is tracking a suspected Chinese high-altitude spy balloon as it makes its way over the northern United States.
Pentagon spokesperson brigadier general Patrick Ryder said the US has so far decided against shooting down the surveillance balloon.
“The balloon is currently travelling at an altitude well above commercial air traffic and does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground,” Mr Ryder said.