Second Chinese spy balloon flies over Latin America: Pentagon

DOD press secretary Brigadier General Pat Ryder said that the Pentagon had been informed of reports from Latin America of another balloon "transiting" above the region.

The US Department of Defense (DOD) reported Friday that another Chinese surveillance balloon was seen flying over Latin America, as the originally-discovered balloon made its way through United States airspace towards the southeastern Atlantic coastline.

DOD press secretary Brigadier General Pat Ryder said that the Pentagon had been informed of reports from Latin America of the second balloon "transiting" above the region, reported NBC News.

"We now assess it is another Chinese surveillance balloon," he said, without giving more details as to the device's exact location.

According to 6 ABC Action News, there were "early reports Friday that the balloon was flying over Colombia and Venezuela but there was no information until now."

Earlier that day, the DOD announced that they wouldn't rush to attempt to shoot down the balloon that crossed over into US airspace on January 28 because "any potential debris field would be significant." On Saturday, US fighter jets shot down the Chinese spy device after it left American territory and began to fly over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of South Carolina.

After the balloon was taken down, President Joe Biden told reporters that he wanted to shoot it down on Wednesday, but was advised by military officials to wait until it was "safest" to do so.

When addressing the press, he refused to answer a reporter who asked what this event would mean for relations between the US and China.

According to The Daily Mail, Chinese foreign ministry officials claimed the balloon was a civilian weather research airship, saying they regretted that it had "deviated far from its planned course" and entered US airspace.

The now-defunct balloon, which had been flying at around 60,000 feet and was roughly the size of three buses, was known to the Biden administration for nearly a week before the news broke on Thursday, February 2. The White House tried to keep its presence a secret in order to not disrupt Secretary of State Antony Blinken's scheduled trip to China, which ended up being postponed after the public's discovery of the balloon.

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