WASHINGTON – The Pentagon says China has returned the unmanned underwater drone the Chinese Navy seized last week.
In a statement issued late Monday, Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook says the Chinese Navy vessel that had seized the drone returned it near the location where it had been taken. The incident occurred in the South China Sea near the Philippines.
Cook says the U.S. will continue to investigate the incident. Earlier Monday he had said U.S. and Chinese officials, including military leaders, were working out logistical details for the return.
The U.S. says the drone was being operated by civilian contractors collecting unclassified scientific data in international waters. Officials say a noncombat ship was recovering two drones when a Chinese ship approached, launched a small boat and picked up one of them.