U.S. tracked spy balloon after it took off from China

U.S. intelligence officers have been monitoring the spy balloon that was shot down earlier this month because it lifted off from the south coast of China, U.S. officers mentioned Tuesday.

In accordance with U.S. officers, after takeoff, the spy balloon drifted east within the course of Guam and Hawaii after which went north to Alaska and entered U.S. airspace on Jan. 28. Given the trail, it is doable that the balloon was blown astray by climate, however U.S. officers mentioned that after it got here south over the continental United States, it was being managed by China.

The monitoring of the balloon was first reported by The Washington Put up.

China has insisted the balloon was for climate functions and that it veered astray. A State Division official mentioned in a press release final week that the balloon contained tools that was “clearly for intelligence surveillance,” together with “a number of antennas” that have been “seemingly able to gathering and geo-locating communications.”

Sailors assigned to Assault Craft Unit 4 put together materials recovered within the Atlantic Ocean from a high-altitude balloon for transport to federal brokers at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek Feb. 10, 2023. / Credit score: U.S. Navy photograph by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan Seelbach

Pentagon officers confirmed on Feb. 2 that they’d been monitoring the spy balloon, and mentioned they didn’t wish to shoot it down given the harm the particles might trigger. Following the announcement that the U.S. was monitoring it, the balloon stopped loitering and proceeded as quick because it might towards the East Coast, a U.S. official mentioned.  A U.S. fighter jet shot down the balloon off the coast of South Carolina on Feb. 4.

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China mentioned on Monday that the U.S. has flown greater than 10 surveillance balloons over their airspace prior to now 12 months, with International Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin saying it’s “widespread for U.S. balloons to illegally enter the airspace of different nations.” The U.S. has denied working any surveillance balloons over China.

When information broke concerning the Chinese language balloon flying over U.S. airspace, Secretary of State Antony Blinken postponed a deliberate journey to China. When requested on Tuesday if China is undermining diplomatic relations, State Division spokesman Ned Value mentioned China is “working from its heels in the mean time.”

In the meantime, the White Home mentioned Tuesday that there’s “robust consideration” the opposite three objects shot down over the weekend over the U.S. and Canada have been “benign.” But it surely will not be sure till the particles is recovered and analyzed.

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