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US, John Kirby, National Security Council Spokesperson: We talked to China about spy balloons

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John Kirby, a spokesman for the US National Security Council, told MSNBC that people from the administration of President Joe Biden had private talks with Chinese officials about spy balloons. He added that it is still unknown what the last three objects shot down over the US and Canada were.

– It is not that communication between us and the PRC has been broken. While the People’s Republic of China has refused contact between the military of the two countries, which is unfortunate, we still have the ability to communicate directly with the Chinese, and we did: we raised the issue of a spy balloon over our territory in private circumstances,” Kirby said.

Before Pentagon Beijing said it had rejected the US defense secretary’s request Lloyd Austin to talk to a Chinese counterpart.

Kirby noted that the US communicates to its interlocutors – publicly and privately – that it will defend its airspace if there is an object threatening air traffic or posing a risk of espionage.

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Kirby: We don’t send balloons over China

At the same time, he strongly denied Chinese accusations that American balloons have flown over the territory of the PRC 10 times since the beginning of 2022. – That’s absolutely not true. We do not send balloons over China said the spokesman.

When asked about the events of the last three days, when the US military shot down three unidentified objects over Alaska, Canada and Lake Huron, Kirby said it was still unknown what these objects were, who they belonged to, and what they were for.

However, he stated that due to the flight altitude, they posed a threat to civil aviation. At the same time, he assessed that they could be “completely innocent” items, belonging to private companies and performing civilian missions.

Four kills in eight days. CNN: The US Army has developed a new method of detecting flying objects

A series of flying objects over North America

According to the explanations of the Pentagon and US and Canadian administration officials, one of the objects – shot down on Saturday over the Yukon – had the shape of a cylinder and could be a smaller balloon. The other two, also much smaller than the Chinese balloon, were probably not balloons: the first, shot down over Alaska, would break apart when shot down by a rocket, and the second, shot down over Lake Huron, was octagonal in shape with strings hanging from it.

According to the deputy head of the Department of Homeland Security Melissa Dalton, the detection of new objects may have been the result of increased radar sensitivity after the Chinese balloon case. Pentagon officials also shut down speculation that the objects could come from extraterrestrials, though Northern Command chief General Glen VanHerck said “nothing can be ruled out at the moment.”

The Navy releases photos of the remains of a Chinese spy balloonUS NAVY/DVIDS/PAP/EPA

Main photo source: US NAVY/DVIDS/PAP/EPA

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