North Korea’s ‘Hotel of Doom’ shows signs of construction
A flurry of activity at North Korea’s “Hotel of Doom” sparked speculation that the notorious building may soon be nearing completion 30 years after its construction began.
Construction on the Ryugyong Hotel started in 1987 under Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of Kim Jong-Un. The 105-story pyramid was slated to be the tallest hotel in the world and the seventh largest skyscraper by the time it was complete in 1989, but the project was plagued with construction issues as well as the economic crisis sparked by the toppling of the Soviet Union in 1992, the Independent reported.
The Ryugyong Hotel is an unfinished 105-story, 330 metres (1,080 ft)-tall pyramid-shaped skyscraper in Pyongyang, North Korea.
The facility in Pyongyang was unveiled this summer, though the doors have remained closed. It has cost nearly $552 million to date, but has yet to host a single guest.
New satellite images appear to show work has restarted at the 5,000-room establishment, with cranes and construction crews gathering around its base, according to the Telegraph. There have been rumors certain areas of the “Hotel of Doom”— as it has been dubbed — could be made public in the near future.
German tourist Til Moser said his guides boasted the hotel was near completion while he was touring Pyongyang.
“During my stay I realized some work activity around the entrance hall and my surroundings. It seems the area around the building will be prepared,” he told the Telegraph.
An inside look at North Korea during the 1970s
“Also our Korean guides told us that there might be plans to open some parts of the building for public or offices. But not the whole building so far as they know.”
Last December, lights were spotted on inside the building for the first time in years. Egyptian development company Orascom — believed to be behind the project — were visiting the area to discuss the future of the building at the time.
In this Friday, July 28, 2017, photo, a sign that reads “Leading Power in Rockets” is displayed in front of the Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea.
An inspection by the European Chamber of Commerce in the ’90s ruled the building was irreparable, citing poor concrete and crooked elevator shafts as its primary evidence, according to author Marcus Noland, who often writes about North Korea.
Still, officials there have tried on multiple occasions to continue the construction of the Ryugyong Hotel. In 2008, the building received windows and later that year it was announced the building would open in 2012 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the “Eternal President,” the Telegraph reported.