FIRST AIRED: January 18, 2018

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00:00:00
>> Vinylon Man. He's a superhero named after a synthetic fabric, which Pyongyang hailed as a miracle fiver. In this 70s propaganda cartoon, Vinylon Man beats nylon and is crowned king of fibers. That may sound bizarre, but it's a homage to a fabric that symbolized the country's dream of self reliance, as Reuters' James Pearson explains.
00:00:24
>> Well, that propaganda costume came out at the kind of peak of the miracle that was Vinylon. The North Korean state found a way to turn stone into fabric, and they're educating kids just how brilliant this was. The idea with Vinylon was that they could take coal, they could take limestone, they could take domestic resources, and turn them into clothes, literally putting the clothes on people's backs.
00:00:44
That was the North Korean dream back in the 1960s.>> But in 1991 the Soviet Union collapsed. Their funding to Pyongyang froze completely, and the factory was raided for parts, while North Koreans struggled to survive. Fast track to now, and Vinylon is back.>>
FOREIGN]
> Either Kim Jong Un has called for a resurgence, apparently in the name of self reliance, but Western arms experts say there's another motive.
00:01:09
>> So the vinylon factory is located at a very large chemical plant that makes a lot more than just vinylon, and one of those things it makes is probably rocket fuel.
NOISE]>>
The UN has banned jet fuel imports to the North, which would go in the rockets.
00:01:23
However, since Kim Jong Un took power in 2011, there have been 85 missile tests. Experts say the country could be two or three tests away from being combat ready, and put a nuclear warhead anywhere on the US Mainland.