Local media reported that the US today shot down a Chinese spy balloon off the east coast of the country. Earlier this week, the United States announced that hot air balloons were spying on sensitive military sites across North America.
Fox News and CNN covered the operation after three southeast airports temporarily closed earlier in the day amid what the Federal Aviation Administration called a “national security effort.”
Footage on local media showed a small explosion followed by the balloon plunging into the water. The operation was planned in such a way that all the debris fell into the ocean. Ships were deployed to recover as much debris as possible.
Hours before the balloon was shot down, US President Joe Biden vowed to “take care” of the balloon.
When asked by reporters to comment on the relationship with China and the hot air balloon incident, Biden told reporters: “We’ll deal with that.”
The original balloon was spotted entering US airspace on January 28. The white sphere lingered in Montana, the site of intercontinental ballistic missile silos, and crossed the country to North Carolina. on Saturday.
China’s Foreign Ministry on Friday confirmed that the balloon belonged to China, but said it was a civilian airship conducting climate research and was accidentally blown up.
American officials did not shoot it down sooner out of fear of injuring people or property on the ground.