First Images Inside North Korea's Ghost Skyscraper

Illustration for article titled First Images Inside North Koreas Ghost Skyscraper

That eerie wonderland of weird and misery that is North Korea has its epicenter on this place: the Ryugyong Hotel—the 105-story skyscraper erected in Pyongyang to the glory of whatever Kim was ruling back in 1987, when construction started.

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That construction stopped in 1992, after the fall of the Soviet Union, and restarted in 2008 only to stop and restart several times. Nobody knew what was inside until now: a big pile of nothingness.

These exclusive images taken by blog NK News just show empty, naked spaces. Concrete, concrete, concrete everywhere.

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The country officials say that, whenever the hell it gets finished (if it ever gets finished), it will contain the "country's premier restaurants, hotel accommodation, apartments, and business facilities." It may also become the tallest hotel in the world, counting 3,000 to 7,665 rooms (depending on the source, according to Wikipedia). I'm sure it will always be at full capacity, even when it's empty. Just like the restaurant on top, with amazing views of Pyongyang soviet architecture and happy despair. [NK News and WikipediaThanks Attila!]

Illustration for article titled First Images Inside North Koreas Ghost Skyscraper
Illustration for article titled First Images Inside North Koreas Ghost Skyscraper

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DISCUSSION

linneajanusch
Linnea Janusch

I've been interested in this tower ever since I first saw it a couple years ago. More or less they don't believe the structure can bear the weight of being furnished/ finished. The cement work is apparently very shoddy and the elevator shafts aren't straight. It's been such a scourge on the city that they remove it from pictures. Official pictures of Pyongyang don't have the tower.

Up until a couple years ago the structure had no face. It was just a 100+ story cement blob. A cell phone company agreed to put a facade on the building in exchange for the North Korean phone market. I doubt they'll ever put anything in it.