Second Chinese airship spotted over Latin America after U.S. as Pentagon reviews options

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Brigadier General Pat Ryder

By Bevan Hurley,Graeme Massie,Arpan Rai, Independent.co.uk

4th February 2023 – (Washington) A second Chinese spy balloon has been spotted moving across Latin America, the Pentagon announced on Friday night.

It is unclear exactly which country in the region the balloon is hovering over but it does not appear as if it is headed towards the United States, according to CNN.

Earlier a senior Pentagon official flatly rejected Beijing’s claims that a Chinese airship spotted flying over sensitive US military sites was a meteorological research balloon.

Brigadier General Pat Ryder said during a press briefing at midday on Friday that the US was continuing to weigh its options and described the airship’s presence as an “unacceptable” violation of US airspace.

“We are aware of the (People’s Republic of China) statement. However, the fact is, we know that it’s a surveillance balloon.”

He said the balloon was moving eastward over the centre of the United States at an altitude of 60,000 feet on Friday.

Possible sightings of the balloon were reported in Missouri on Friday afternoon. Fox2 reported that it was visible in the skies from 2.30pm to 3.30pm.

And the National Weather Service’s Kansas City office shared photos of a mystery balloon above the city at 12.30pm.

Defence officials have said the balloon’s flight path had taken it over “a number of sensitive” military sites, including the Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana, which houses 150 nuclear warheads.

On Friday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken postponed a planned trip to China after Beijing claimed ownership of the balloon.