Every subject fears to be governed under the rules of dictatorship. The Philippines, for example, was under dictatorship for twenty years, from which the people suffered heavily. It is not easy to live every day being told what to do next and when to do it. But the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has been doing it for such a long time.
This Asian country is the home to almost 25,000,000 people who end up as either a part of the military reserve or a child laborer. North Korea is described as isolated, and foreign visitors would often be the talk of the town when seen walking in the streets. But its leaders, from the grandfather to the youngest guy in the family, have genes for being ambitious—and the infamous Ryugyong Hotel is the proof to that.
In 1987, as a Cold War response to the construction of then the world’s tallest hotel, the Westin Stamford Hotel in Singapore, plans for the development of the Ryugyong Hotel started. The Ryugyong Hotel had undergone various construction halts since the beginning of its development. It was scheduled to open in 1989, but it was stopped due to issues in building methods and materials. In 1992, it was put to a halt again because North Korea suffered from economic crisis. In 2008, sixteen years later, the construction resumed.
Together with its construction halts came international ridicule on whether it had the chance to be completed. The hotel is slowly erected, but as it nears its completion, it remains off-limits from visitors. It has been reported that poor-quality materials are used in the construction, driving people to name it the worst building in the history of mankind.
A writer from Daily Mail wrote about his visit in North Korea and his attempt to take a peek inside the Ryugyong Hotel. He noted that when he asked if he could go in, he was told that no tourists, especially journalists, were allowed to go inside. After continuous nagging, he was allowed take a look, but the whole visit was guarded, and taking pictures was an absolute no-no. The builders of the hotel are the workers and soldiers.
We have many soldiers, and they are entrusted with building works of national importance,” one worker revealed.
The Daily Mail writer reported that he realized that the only way, perhaps, to get inside the hotel is to run there under cover of darkness. With this, it is apparent that life in North Korea for foreigners is not as heavenly as in the other countries. How much more for the citizens who have to spend their whole life roaming around a country that puts them in chains?
Though it can be considered remarkable for having 105 stories, the Ryugyong Hotel is a symbol of modern architecture that stands in the land of a starving population. It has three wings that try to appear as appealing to hide the threefold of issues on economy that the country faces.
Nevertheless, unlike the limited number of floors the Ryugyong Hotel has, the North Koreans are in unlimited and high hopes that life there will change and will become as positively enormous as what the structure wants to depict.