Information operations · Information Warfare · North Korea

Aramid Fibers At Heart Of North Korean ICBM Controversy


Please.  The final paragraph contains a revelation which surprised even me, but you must read the whole blog to understand the significance.

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Tonight a friend posted a picture about Aramid Fibers, which are an integral part of reducing the weight of solid fuel supposedly in North Korean ICBMs. They are sometimes nicknamed Gold Fiber, not only for their color but for their incredible strength and light weight.

Aramid fibers are a class of heat-resistant and strong synthetic fibers. They are used in aerospace and military applications, for ballistic-rated body armor fabric and ballistic composites, in bicycle tires, and as an asbestos substitute. The name is a portmanteau of “aromatic polyamide”.

I found the same pic in a Tweet posted on CNN in this story, New North Korea photos reveal hidden details of missile program.

Within the story I found the below tweet.  I took a screenshot in case the original Tweet is somehow deleted.

Original at https://twitter.com/DuitsyWasHere/status/900170110958157824/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnn.com%2F2017%2F08%2F23%2Fasia%2Fnorth-korea-missile-program-photos%2Findex.html

A quick Google Search for the Aramid Fibers shows China produced 15% of the world’s Aramid Fibers. 63% is basically split between the US (Dupont) and Japan.

I didn’t see any produced in Russia in a 2015 Aramid Fiber Report, but I’m sure they have quite a bit. The Soviets used Aramid Fibers in their missiles.

The picture to the left says “Aramid fiber seized en route to DPRK by Russian customs last year”.  It is unclear who produced the Armid fiber.  I don’t want to defend the,, but CNN almost implies that it was Russia by not clarifying that point.

The problem is almost all the stories about the new pictures showing Kim Jong-Un touring the missile plant are the same, all with the same description and implications.

History, however, damns Russia, see next tweet, also by Michael Duitsman, a researcher at the James Martin Center.

North Korea has been trying to sneak Aramid fibers in for some time. Here are two 2009 reports:

What I found disturbing with both reports is that there is no mention of which companies and which countries were attempting to supply North Korea with aramid fibers.

A Korean firm, Kolon, has been in a dispute with DuPont for 30 years about aramid fibers, which Dupont calls Heracron.

In researching Kolon I found the following:

Company Headquarters

14F, 1-23 Byulyang-Dong
Kwacheon-City, Kyunggi-Do 427-709
North Korea

If that doesn’t take your breath away, I don’t know what will.

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3 thoughts on “Aramid Fibers At Heart Of North Korean ICBM Controversy

  1. As insane as the game Metal Gear Solid (and sequels) is, it did give some good background on nuclear technology like aramid fibers. Part V is highly recommended if you feel like dropping into Afghanistan and hunting Soviets.

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