Late Friday, the Pentagon recognized a second Chinese spy drone transiting airspace somewhere over Latin America.
According to CNN, the second balloon’s flight route does not appear to include the United States. Earlier on Friday, the Department of Defense announced that the first surveillance balloon was flying eastward and that the US government was continuing to monitor its progress, while the White House’s national security team provided President Joe Biden with regular updates.
“We are seeing reports of a balloon transiting Latin America. We now assess it is another Chinese surveillance balloon,” press secretary Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement.
Meanwhile, a video circulating on social media appeared to show an explosion above Billings Air Force Base in Montana, where planes were scrambled Wednesday in preparation for action against the balloon. According to a defense official, the video is fake.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken canceled his trip to China after the Department of Defense confirmed it had been following the alleged spycraft for several days.
China denied the balloon was used to gather intelligence on key US sites, claiming it was a weather balloon caught in high winds and blown off course. However, the Department of Defense denied China’s accusations.
“The fact is we know that it’s a surveillance balloon, and I’m not going to be able to be more specific than that. And we do know that the balloon has violated U.S. airspace and international law, which is unacceptable,” Ryder said.
Ryder said that the balloon can maneuver and is flying at around 60,000 feet above sea level, out of range of usual air traffic, but declined to disclose any details.
The National Security Council and the Chinese Embassy in the United States did not immediately reply to requests for comment from the DCNF.