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Colombia detected an object similar to the Chinese spy balloon: the Pentagon had warned of another in Latin America


The Colombian Air Force confirmed on Saturday that it observed a device similar to a balloon flying overhead and that it followed it "until it left the airspace." They have not determined its origin, but indicated that it did not pose a threat to national security.

Diplomatic relations between the United States and China remain tense this weekend after President Joe Biden gave the order to shoot down the Chinese spy balloon that flew over the north of the country, the Colombian Air Force confirmed this Saturday that it observed a similar device in its territory and that it "tracked the object until it left the airspace."

The Pentagon had warned on Friday night that it had detected a second Chinese "spy" balloon over Latin America, without specifying in which country.

The Colombian Air Force said the National Air Defense System had sighted a similar device at 55,000 feet on Friday.

"The object entered Colombian airspace in the northern sector of the country, moving at an average speed of 25 knots," or 29 miles per hour, they said Saturday night in a statement.

The authorities determined that "

it did not represent a threat to national security and defense

, as well as air safety."

Some users on social networks shared images in which they reported the artifact in northern Colombia and in Maracaibo, a neighboring city in Venezuela, reported The Associated Press (AP) news agency.

The balloon was shot down off the coast of South Carolina on February 4, 2023.Radha Herring

The Venezuelan government has not ruled on the matter.

Colombian media reported that the Colombian Air Force was investigating and coordinating with other countries "to establish the origin of the object" that had characteristics similar to those of a balloon.

Referring to the balloon that was shot down by the United States, a Biden Administration official told NBC News, sister network of Noticias Telemundo, under anonymity that “these balloons

are all part of a fleet of balloons from the People's Republic of China developed to carry out operations surveillance

, which have also violated the sovereignty of other countries”.

[What is a spy balloon and why does the supposed detection of one of Chinese origin in the United States raise alarms?]

The source specified that the devices have small engines and multiple propellers that allow them to maneuver to fly over specific locations.

Also, he said, they have "surveillance equipment not typically associated with standard weather activities or civilian investigation."

US shoots down a balloon, China responds

The United States shot down this Saturday the Chinese spy balloon that was detected for the first time on Tuesday, after it was confirmed that Biden gave the order since Wednesday but that priority was given to the device reaching an area where it was safe to carry out the operation that was carried out over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of South Carolina.

It sounds like something out of a spy movie, but the Chinese balloon crisis is a very real event with implications.

Feb 3, 202301:47

An Air Force Northern Command F-22 fighter jet shot it down with an AIM-9X missile at about 58,000 feet, according to the Department of Defense.

China, which insisted that it was a device for civilian use that accidentally entered US territory, reacted by expressing its "solemn protest" against what it described as

“a clear overreaction.” 

“We reserve the right to use the necessary means to deal with similar situations,”

warned Tan Kefei, a spokesman for the Chinese Defense Ministry.

[China Admits Suspected Spy Balloon Flying Over US Is Its, But Says It's a Drifted Weather Blimp]

The warning comes at a sensitive time for the diplomatic relationship between the two countries.

The United States said it had canceled a visit by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was due to meet Foreign Minister Qin Gang and possibly President Xi Jinping.

China, for its part, claimed that "the United States and China have never announced any visits," the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Saturday, before the balloon was shot down.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2023-02-06

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