Now There's a 2nd Balloon, per Pentagon

This one, also said to be from China, is floating somewhere over Latin America, according to DOD
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2023 7:45 AM CST
Now There's a 2nd Balloon, per Pentagon
A high-altitude balloon floats over Billings, Montana, earlier this week. A second balloon is now said to be floating over Latin America, per the Pentagon.   (Larry Mayer/The Billings Gazette via AP)

As a suspected Chinese spy balloon continues to make its way east above the United States, a second balloon has been spotted. On Friday, Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder noted that the new balloon, also believed to be a Chinese "surveillance" device, is currently "transiting Latin America," though he didn't say exactly where over Latin America, per NBC News. A US official tells CNN that this new balloon doesn't seem to be headed toward the United States, at least at the moment.

China has admitted the balloon over the United States is one of its own, but it has so far claimed it's a weather balloon that went off course; US officials have rejected that narrative. On Saturday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry re-upped that story, saying in a statement that it was "completely an accident" the balloon ended up in US airspace, and that "some US politicians and media" are exploiting the situation, per the Washington Post.

Conservative voices have demanded that the Biden administration take steps to shoot down the balloon, but US officials have hedged, saying it's not worth the risk to human life and property from the resulting falling debris. And so the first balloon continues to drift toward the east, with a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration model anticipating it may exit the US off the East Coast, near the Carolinas, sometime Saturday morning, per CNN. (Read more China stories.)

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