China spy balloon shot down – latest news
The White House says that Joe Biden ordered that a new high-altitude “object” that appeared in the skies above Alaskan waters to be shot down by US fighters.
John Kirby, NSC Coordinator for Strategic Communications, told a Friday briefing that the object was floating above US territory at 40,000ft and was a “reasonable threat” to the safety of civilian air traffic.
Bad weather could delay the recovery of the payload with strong winds of up to 35mph in the region.
Debris recovered so far has been taken to the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia, for analysis.
To date, US intelligence has revealed that the balloon, which spent eight days over US airspace, is “part of a larger Chinese surveillance balloon program” – something which Beijing continues to deny.
Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said that the balloon incident “confirms a pattern of Chinese behaviour” using “different types of intelligence and surveillance platforms” around the world.