The U.S. Department of Defense official revealed that the United States intends to wait for the Chinese spy balloon to enter the Atlantic Ocean before shooting it down.

(AFP file photo)

[Compilation of Sun Yuqing/Comprehensive Report] China's high-altitude reconnaissance balloon (spy balloon) broke into US airspace. The Biden administration is currently allowing it to continue flying based on factors such as ground safety.

U.S. Department of Defense officials revealed that President Biden should wait for the balloon to fly to the surface of the Atlantic Ocean before ordering the balloon to be shot down.

The New York Times pointed out that Pentagon officials revealed that as of noon on the 3rd, the Chinese spy balloon had flown from Montana to Kansas, sometimes hovering and sometimes moving at a speed of 112 kilometers per hour.

President Biden still has not ruled out shooting down the balloon, but should wait for the balloon to leave the land and fly to the waters of the Atlantic before taking action.

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Another U.S. official pointed out that U.S. intelligence agencies had been tracking the balloon "controllably" out of China and heading for the Aleutian Islands a few days ago.

Things started to feel wrong after the balloon passed Canada and entered U.S. airspace.

"National Broadcasting Corporation News" (NBC News) also quoted a senior defense official as saying that when the balloon flew over Montana on the 1st, the Pentagon had a "handling" opportunity. At that time, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) F-22 stealth fighters, early warning aircraft and other military aircraft were dispatched, but they gave up later.

Cully Stimson, a senior legal researcher and director of the National Security Law Program at the Heritage Foundation, an American think tank, pointed out that from the perspective of the rules of engagement, according to domestic and international laws, the US absolutely has the legal authority to shoot down the balloon.

James Andrew Lewis, director of strategic technology programs at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), agrees that objects don't count as airspace until they're in Earth orbit: "Below 100,000 feet, there's nothing to say.

It is understood that spy balloons usually fly at an altitude of 65,000 to 100,000 feet, while the flying altitude of Chinese spy balloons is only 46,000 feet.