Despite these denials, there is little doubt in Western governments that the militia does exist.
The Pentagon refers to it as the People’s Armed Forces Maritime Militia (PAFMM).
Carl Schuster, a former director of operations at the US Pacific Command’s Joint Intelligence Center, told CNN: “The People’s Armed Forces Maritime Militia don’t fish.
“They have automatic weapons aboard and reinforced hulls, making them very dangerous at close range.
“Also, they have a top speed of around 18-22 knots, making them faster than 90 percent of the world’s fishing boats.”