North Korea is the mystic land of the modern world as the country remains shut diplomatically. Little flow of information or news occur from the country to the rest of the world. Other nations of the world, remain curious for most part about the works of the state and the condition of its citizens. A recent report by the Reuters suggests, that North Korea’s people wear garments made of a fiber developed from stone.
The country sees extremes of temperature during the winter months but most speculate how it manages to provide garments for its citizens as it grows neither cotton nor silk. But it has now come to be known that it relies on another fiber called vinalon. The fiber is made from stone, a resource aplenty in the country. While it can also be made from petroleum as is done in Japan, North Korea has no oil reserves and therefore relies on producing the material from its vast reserves of coal and limestone.
The fiber developed by Korean scientist Ri Sung Gi before the Korean war, wanted to develop it further in South Korea post the war but the country had shown little interest in his project following which he defected to South Korea. He worked under the patronage of North Korea’s founder Kim Il Sung, to develop clothes for the country’s peasant class.
“To bore a hole into the heart of U.S. imperialism, I have been peering through microscopes and shaking my test tubes with determination,” the scientist had written in his 1990 memoir.
Vinalon was quickly embraced by the newly formed communist nation as everything from socks, coats and other garments. Though the fiber initially looks like crystal, when spun, it looks like cotton but is harder to dye. The fiber became the symbol of self-reliance for the country as it meant little dependence on the outside world for production. But the country was falling short on electricity required to run factories for production. This is when it fell back on nuclear power to fill its energy gap.
While defectors of the state say the fiber is worn by very few, its current dictator, Kim Jung Un wants to revive it this year.