US President Joe Biden congratulated the pilots on a successful mission. Mr. Biden said: “They shot it down successfully. I want to commend our pilots.”
Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin called the shooting down of the balloon a “deliberate and lawful action” in response to China’s “violation of sovereignty” over the US.
After the hot air balloon flew off the mainland, the US military used a fighter jet to shoot down the device over the Atlantic Ocean. Photo: Reuters