The Chinese spy balloon carried explosives to destroy itself, was 200 feet tall, weighed thousands of pounds and its payload was the size of a jetliner, a top Pentagon official said Monday.
Air Force Gen. Glen D. VanHerck, commander of U.S. Northern Command, divulged new details about the downed balloon on a call with reporters Monday.
His description followed a briefing by National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, who defended President Joe Biden’s decision to wait and shoot down the Chinese craft until it was over South Carolina’s coastline on Saturday.
‘Because the president decided they wouldn’t shoot it down until he could do so safely, and that meant over water, that afforded us a terrific opportunity to gain a better understanding, to study the capabilities of this balloon,’ he told reporters on a call.
Biden ordered the balloon shot down Wednesday, but the U.S. military held off until Saturday, with the Air Force sending an F-22 fighter jet to do the job.
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