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Pentagon tracking suspected Chinese spy balloon over US - reports

WASHINGTON, Feb 2 (KUNA) - The Pentagon is tracking a "suspected Chinese high-altitude surveillance balloon over the continental United States," several media outlets reported Thursday, citing a senior defense official.
"We are confident that this high-altitude surveillance balloon belongs to the (People's Republic of China)," the senior defense official added.
According to the official, the US has "engaged" with Chinese officials through multiple channels.
Meanwhile, Pentagon spokesman Patrick Ryder was quoted saying that "the US government to include Norad, continues to track and monitor it closely." He added "the balloon is currently traveling at an altitude well above commercial air traffic and does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground." "Once the balloon was detected, the US government acted immediately to protect against the collection of sensitive information," he affirmed. (end) si.ibi