Live updates: White House briefing on unidentified objects in US airspace

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A balloon flies in the sky over Billings, Montana, on February 1.
A balloon flies within the sky over Billings, Montana, on February 1. (Chase Doak/Reuters)

The US intelligence neighborhood’s methodology to trace China’s fleet of surveillance balloons was solely found throughout the final 12 months, six individuals conversant in the matter instructed CNN.

The findings have allowed the US to develop a constant technical methodology for the primary time, which they’ve used to trace the balloons in near-real time throughout the globe, the sources mentioned.

The revelation that the intelligence neighborhood solely throughout the final 12 months developed a dependable method to observe China’s balloon fleet – which officers now say has flown dozens of missions worldwide – helps clarify why Trump administration officers have stridently claimed to have had no data of the three alleged flights over US territory in the course of the former president’s time in workplace.

In different phrases, it’s doable that it’s not a lot the objects which are new, however our capability to trace them.

And, as CNN’s Natasha Bertrand reported Sunday, NORAD command just lately readjusted its filters to raised spot slow-moving targets working above a sure altitude.

“In mild of the Individuals’s Republic of China balloon that we took down final Saturday, we now have been extra carefully scrutinizing our airspace at these altitudes, together with enhancing our radar, which can at the very least partly clarify the rise in objects that we detected over the previous week,” Assistant Secretary of Protection for Homeland Protection and Hemispheric Affairs, Melissa Dalton mentioned.

China has accused the US of “illegally” flying high-altitude balloons into its airspace greater than 10 instances since January 2022. The White Home responded to these claims by saying the allegation is fake.

“Any declare that the US authorities operates surveillance balloons over the PRC is fake. It’s China that has a high-altitude surveillance balloon program for intelligence assortment, that it has used to violate the sovereignty of the US and over 40 nations throughout 5 continents,” a spokeswoman for the Nationwide Safety Council, Adrienne Watson, wrote on Twitter.

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