By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 15 February 2023 • 21:19
Spy balloon - Image Broadcast Media Shutterstock.com
Confirming what the Chinese had been saying all along, White House spokesperson John Kirby said the balloons may be “”tied to commercial or research entities and therefore benign.”
Speaking at a press conference reported by the Mirror on Wednesday, February 15, Kirby said that it is difficult to understand the motive behind the balloons or to know from where they originated unless they are recovered.
So far only the balloon shot down off the South Carolina coast has been recovered.
He said: “We haven’t seen any indication or anything that points specifically to the idea that these three objects were part of the PRC’s [People’s Republic of China] spying programme.”
China had said that the balloon was being used for metrological purposes and it had simply blown off course, a story that was not initially accepted by the US military who chose to shoot it down.
It is understood that the US military spend well over $ 1 million (€940,000) shooting down the balloons and more in recovering the largest.
Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “Many in the US have been asking, ‘what good can such costly action possibly bring to the US and its taxpayers?'”
In scenes reminiscent of the McCarthy era back in the 50s, US politicians, military and media have overreacted to the threat posed by the balloons causing embarrassment all around as they admit balloons posed no threat.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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