The US government said Tuesday that so far has no evidence that the three aerial objects he shot down over North America last weekend were linked to China or some other foreign spy program.
The US investigators say that “so far they have not seen any indication or anything that specifically points to the idea that these three objects were part of the spy balloon program.” [de China] or that they were definitely involved in external intelligence-gathering efforts,” John Kirby, spokesman for strategic communications for the National Security Council, said in an exchange with reporters at the White House.
Kirby said the three objects, two shot down over the United States and one over Canada, “could be balloons that were simply tied to commercial or research entities and therefore benign.”
However, Kirby said China is running a “deliberate and well-funded program” to use high-altitude and hard-to-detect balloons to spy on the United States and other countries. US authorities say a fighter jet shot down such a balloon off the southeastern US coast on February 4 after being allowed to traverse the mainland for eight days.
China has gone on to claim that the roving balloon was collecting weather information and hovered over the US by mistake. But US officials say they recovered parts and They concluded that he was on a surveillance mission sophisticated intelligence on US military bases.
The incident triggered further radar scanning by US authorities looking for other airborne objects and the subsequent downing of an object over frozen water near the northwestern state of Alaska. In addition, another was shot down over the Yukon Territory in Canada and a third over Lake Huron, which straddles the US-Canada border.
The Chinese spy balloon and the next two objects were each brought down by a single missile strike, authorities said, but the first shot missed the target above the lake before a second missile brought it down.
Kirby said the “fairly harsh” weather and geographic conditions near where the three downed balloons or airborne objects hit last weekend make it more difficult to find the wreckage.
“We recognize that it could be some time before we locate and recover the remains,” he said. “We haven’t found them yet.”
On Monday, Kirby said the United States does not know the origin of the three high-altitude objects he brought down.
“They had no propulsion,” he said. “They were not being maneuvered. They did not have [capacidad de] surveillance, but we couldn’t rule it out.”
“We’re in kind of uncharted territory here,” Kirby said. The White House spokesman said the devices were shot down because they posed a threat to civilian aircraft, unlike the Chinese spy balloon that was flying at a much higher altitude.
As the search for the objects downed last weekend continues, the US Army Northern Command said in a statement Monday that crews working to find parts of the spy balloon in the Atlantic Ocean had recovered “significant debris from the site, including all priority objects such as sensors and identified electronic parts, as well as large sections of the structure.”
[Parte del material de este informe provino de Agence France-Presse].
Source: VOA Español