December 01, 2022

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Politics: Recent images show construction on North Korea’s ‘Hotel of Doom’ may be starting again

Recent satellite and tourist photos show construction trucks outside of North Korea’s Ryugyong Hotel, indicating that construction is restarting, according to The Daily Mail.

Much confusion and mystery surrounds the 105-story, pyramid-shaped hotel, also known as the “Hotel of Doom.”

Construction on the hotel began in 1987, under Kim Il Sung, the founder of North Korea and Kim Jong Un’s grandfather.

It was supposed to be finished in the late 1980s, but construction was stopped in the early 1990s because of an economic depression.

An Egyptian company was hired to make some improvements in 2008, and there have been rumors in the last few years that it could open soon, but the hotel’s fate remains unknown.

In late July, Pyongyang took walls surrounding the building down, unveiling walkways to the hotel, fueling speculation that construction might start again, according to Fox News.

Below are photos of the hotel, most of which were taken in Spring 2017 and provided by Korea Risk Group, a company billed as the leading provider of risk analysis, news, information and data surrounding North Korea.

Originally slated to open in 1989, the hotel was supposed to have Japanese lounges, casinos, and night clubs.


Originally slated to open in 1989, the hotel was supposed to have Japanese lounges, casinos, and night clubs.play

Originally slated to open in 1989, the hotel was supposed to have Japanese lounges, casinos, and night clubs.

(Feng Li/Getty Images)

Source: NK News

But construction ground to a halt in 1993 due to famine after the collapse of the Soviet Union.


But construction ground to a halt in 1993 due to famine after the collapse of the Soviet Union.play

But construction ground to a halt in 1993 due to famine after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

(Feng Li/Getty Images)

Source: NK News

Work began again in 2008, when an Egyptian company called Orascom Group, hired to install 3G cell phone service, added a glaze to the framework – but it remained unfinished.


Work began again in 2008, when an Egyptian company called Orascom Group, hired to install 3G cell phone service, added a glaze to the framework – but it remained unfinished.play

Work began again in 2008, when an Egyptian company called Orascom Group, hired to install 3G cell phone service, added a glaze to the framework – but it remained unfinished.

(Korea Risk Group via NK News)

Source: NK News

In 2012, a German company, Kempinski Hotels SA, announced it would open a 150-room hotel at the top. The plans were later scrapped.


In 2012, a German company, Kempinski Hotels SA, announced it would open a 150-room hotel at the top. The plans were later scrapped.play

In 2012, a German company, Kempinski Hotels SA, announced it would open a 150-room hotel at the top. The plans were later scrapped.

(Korea Risk Group via NK News)

Source: NK News

In 2014, construction on the road below leading to the hotel was finished, fueling more rumors about it opening.


In 2014, construction on the road below leading to the hotel was finished, fueling more rumors about it opening.play

In 2014, construction on the road below leading to the hotel was finished, fueling more rumors about it opening.

(Korea Risk Group via NK News)

Source: NK News

Here’s a closer shot of the road, which appears to be starting to crack.


Here's a closer shot of the road, which appears to be starting to crack.play

Here’s a closer shot of the road, which appears to be starting to crack.

(Korea Risk Group via NK News)

Source: NK News

And here is a shot of the plumbing system underneath the road installed to mitigate any flooding.


And here is a shot of the plumbing system underneath the road installed to mitigate any flooding.play

And here is a shot of the plumbing system underneath the road installed to mitigate any flooding.

(Korea Risk Group via NK News)

Source: NK News

Here’s another close shot of the road leading to the hotel in the foreground.


Here's another close shot of the road leading to the hotel in the foreground.play

Here’s another close shot of the road leading to the hotel in the foreground.

(Korea Risk Group via NK News)

Source: NK News

In October 2016, rumors continued to abound after people noticed three lights had been turned on at the top of the building. But still nothing happened.


In October 2016, rumors continued to abound after people noticed three lights had been turned on at the top of the building. But still nothing happened.play

In October 2016, rumors continued to abound after people noticed three lights had been turned on at the top of the building. But still nothing happened.

(Korea Risk Group via NK News)

Source: NK News

Until suddenly, in July, something happened to the sign below which reads: “Everybody do it in accordance with the decisions achieved at the 7th Party Congress!”


Until suddenly, in July, something happened to the sign below which reads: "Everybody do it in accordance with the decisions achieved at the 7th Party Congress!"play

Until suddenly, in July, something happened to the sign below which reads: “Everybody do it in accordance with the decisions achieved at the 7th Party Congress!”

(Korea Risk Group via NK News)

Source: NK News

The wall was removed on July 27, the anniversary of the Korean War armistice, fueling more speculation about what would come next.


The wall was removed on July 27, the anniversary of the Korean War armistice, fueling more speculation about what would come next.play

The wall was removed on July 27, the anniversary of the Korean War armistice, fueling more speculation about what would come next.

(Korea Risk Group via NK News)

Source: NK News

North Korea test fired an ICBM for the second time the day after the walls were taken down.


North Korea test fired an ICBM for the second time the day after the walls were taken down.play

North Korea test fired an ICBM for the second time the day after the walls were taken down.

(Korea Risk Group via NK News)

Source: NK News

A new sign, not pictured below, now hangs on the building, which reads: “Rocket Power Nation.”


A new sign, not pictured below, now hangs on the building, which reads: "Rocket Power Nation."play

A new sign, not pictured below, now hangs on the building, which reads: “Rocket Power Nation.”

(Korea Risk Group via NK News)

Source: NK News

And most recently, satellite and tourist photos show construction trucks and cranes outside the hotel, indicating that work might begin again.


And most recently, satellite and tourist photos show construction trucks and cranes outside the hotel, indicating that work might begin again.play

And most recently, satellite and tourist photos show construction trucks and cranes outside the hotel, indicating that work might begin again.

(Getty Images)

Here is an apartment building that is also being constructed next to the hotel.


Here is an apartment building that is also being constructed next to the hotel.play

Here is an apartment building that is also being constructed next to the hotel.

(Korea Risk Group via NK News)

Source: NK News

The residents will look right on to the hotel.


The residents will look right on to the hotel.play

The residents will look right on to the hotel.

(Korea Risk Group via NK News)

Source: NK News

Below is construction equipment still resting next to the hotel, which reportedly has already cost more than $622 million to build.


Below is construction equipment still resting next to the hotel, which reportedly has already cost more than $622 million to build.play

Below is construction equipment still resting next to the hotel, which reportedly has already cost more than $622 million to build.

(Korea Risk Group via NK News)

Source: NK News

And still more construction equipment.


And still more construction equipment.play

And still more construction equipment.

(Korea Risk Group via NK News)

Source: NK News

The building still draws about 100,000 tourists per year, most of whom are Chinese. Below is Pyongyang’s Konsol metro station, which is adjacent to the hotel.


The building still draws about 100,000 tourists per year, most of whom are Chinese. Below is Pyongyang's Konsol metro station, which is adjacent to the hotel.play

The building still draws about 100,000 tourists per year, most of whom are Chinese. Below is Pyongyang’s Konsol metro station, which is adjacent to the hotel.

(Korea Risk Group via NK News)

Source: NK News

And here’s the inside of the metro station, which can take you wherever you’d like to go in Pyongyang.


And here's the inside of the metro station, which can take you wherever you'd like to go in Pyongyang.play

And here’s the inside of the metro station, which can take you wherever you’d like to go in Pyongyang.

(Korea Risk Group via NK News)

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