North Korea’s Ryugyong Hotel and the Truth It Hides


Even on a cloudy day in Pyongyang, North Korea, you can see the top of a modern building peaking out atop the clouds. What you’re seeing is the Ryugyong Hotel. It is now an abandoned edifice that has not been in use since its construction was stopped in 1992.

The futuristic design of the hotel makes it look like a rocket or space craft ready to be launched into the universe. It is a 1,083-foot-tall building that has been dubbed The Hotel of Doom. The Guinness World Records has it listed as the biggest abandoned building in the world.

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Ryugyong Hotel

It is smack dab in the center of North Korea’s capital city. This hotel was planned to be the tallest hotel in the world. It is a tribute to the country’s desire to have architectural masterpieces. North Korea is also home to the largest sporting arena on the planet.

Originally scheduled to be opened in 1989, the construction was delayed for quite a long time. By the end of the said year, only the framework had been completed. By 1992, the funding the country received from the Soviet Union has been used up. The construction of the building was stopped.

The hotel was never demolished. It still stands today, serving as a reminder of what it was once supposed to symbolize for the country. There is no furniture, plumbing, or electricity in the massive structure.

Located in Pyongyang, North Korea

Originally part of Kim Il-sung‘s plan to boost tourism in North Korea, it has become evidence of the dictatorship obsessed with power. Tourist guide Nick Bonner says the country prioritizes the ability to show off the extent of its power. North Korea is full of massive concrete structures. It’s all part of the image that it wants to project, that it is a global powerhouse.

Some estimate that the budget required to restart the construction would be $2 billion dollars. That would be 7 percent of North Korea’s GDP. That is a huge amount of money, but Kim Jong-un just might think it is one way of showing his country’s rise in status.

There is a trade-off to completing the hotel because if it does see the end of its construction, it will lose its Guinness World Record title.

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