A second 'Chinese surveillance balloon' has been spotted over Latin America, according to Pentagon officials
A massive, high altitude balloon was spotted Tuesday drifting above the United States.
Pentagon officials on Thursday identified the balloon as a "Chinese surveillance" device.
On Friday, a second surveillance balloon was identified flying above Latin America.
A second high-altitude Chinese surveillance balloon has been spotted floating in Latin America, as the United States seeks answers about a similar device that was shot down near South Carolina on Saturday.
"We now assess it is another Chinese surveillance balloon," AP reported Brigadier General Pat Ryder, the Pentagon press secretary, said Friday.
A Department of Defense spokesperson confirmed to Insider that the balloon was of Chinese origins, but declined to give additional details, such as where the second balloon was spotted.
Intelligencer reported the balloon had been seen floating over Costa Rica on Friday.
On Saturday, Colombian officials confirmed in a statement that the balloon had been seen in its airspace hovering at 55,000 feet. The Colombian Air Force followed the object until it left the country. It is unclear where the balloon is currently located.
The first balloon was spotted flying over Alaska and parts of Canada before arriving over the city of Billings, Montana — near Malmstrom Air Force Base, which houses 150 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Ryder said in a statement emailed to Insider that the balloon moved eastward across the country and had "a large payload underneath the surveillance component," though it presented "no physical or military threat to people on the ground." The device was shot down by a F-22 fighter jet on Saturday, after it reached the Atlantic ocean near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
China has maintained the device floating over the United States was a "civilian airship used for research, mainly meteorological, purposes," according to an official statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China.
US Pentagon officials have declared both balloons surveillance devices.
"The fact is we know that it's a surveillance balloon, and I'm not going to be able to be more specific than that," Ryder said in a statement emailed to Insider. "And we do know that the balloon has violated US airspace and international law, which is unacceptable."
These are not the only balloons used as surveillance devices between China and the United States. At least one balloon was discovered over the US during the Trump administration, AP reported. In 1957, China claimed it shot down what it identified as a "spy balloon," though US Navy called it "a weather experiment that had blown off course," according to the US Naval Institute.
While there has been pressure by some members of Congress, as well as Trump, to shoot down the balloon, officials say it's not that simple, in part because fighter aircraft aren't designed to target balloons.
When a weather balloon went rogue 25 years ago, two Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 fighter aircraft fired more than 1,000 rounds at it and couldn't shoot it down.
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