North Korea has been busy.  Pyongyang’s pyramid-shaped Ryugyong Hotel, dubbed the “Hotel of Doom” is now complete.  The futuristic building, which poetically enough was built with some help from Egyptians, is one of the world’s strangest landmarks.  It has been in the works for approximately 30 years and at 105 stories it was intended to be the world’s tallest hotel instead, it is currently the world’s tallest unoccupied building. From a distance, the glassy, greenish-blue Ryugyong looks like it is ready for business, however, it is believed to be far from complete on the inside.  There are rumors that the structure is possibly even structurally unsound. Officials have offered no information regarding their plans for its future.

North Korea’s second launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile dominated headlines late last week and many speculate that it can now hit California, Hawaii, and Alaska.  While that news dominated airwaves, Pyongyang quietly unveiled the capital’s biggest landmark.  The structure has taken decades to complete as it is nearly as old as Kim Jong Un himself.  Construction began in 1987 during the reign of  Kim Jong Un’s grandfather, Kim Il Sung, North Korea’s founder.
In this Friday, July 28, 2017, photo, people walk past the 105-story pyramid shaped Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea. Walls set up to keep people out of a construction area around the gargantuan Ryugyong Hotel were pulled down as the North marked the anniversary of the Korean War armistice to reveal two broad new walkways leading to the building and the big red propaganda sign declaring that North Korea is a leading rocket power. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)


Construction was forced to stop during the 1990s due to an economic crash and famine.  This forced a halt to the project and it remained little more than a concrete shell for over a decade. Then Egypt’s Orascom Group stepped in helping to finance the exterior of the building’s exterior, giving it the shiny finish it has today. The same group was instrumental in establishing North’s cell phone system.

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Construction projects have been a major item on Kim Jong Un’s agenda since his rule began. Multiple major high-rise areas have been completed since he began to rule in 2011. A residence topping 70-stories as well as dozens of other tall buildings in the capital’s “Ryomyong,” or “dawn,” district opened in April 2017. A new red propaganda sign sits outside the Ryugyong Hotel with the slogan: “Rocket Power Nation.” A new international airport also opened in the capital.

North Korea is looking to bolster its tourism. According to The Telegraph reports that roughly 100,000 tourists visit the secretive regime yearly. Reports also surfaced of North Korean officials looking to open a beach resort.


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