Ryugyong Hotel, the enormous hotel planned for Pyongyang North Korea that has been in the works for decades, appears to have hit a serious problem.
According to NK News, Kempinski, the German-based luxury group due to manage the hotel have said plans to open rooms in the hotel are on hold due to “”market conditions” in North Korea.
A statement from the firm sent to NK News says that while discussions to open the hotel happened, but “no agreement has been signed since market entry is not currently possible”.
The 105-story, 1,100ft-tall building — dubbed the “hotel of doom” by observers — has had a long, troubled path to completion. Construction began in 1987 and the hotel was originally slated to open in 1993.
However, the building instead sat dormant for 15 years until Egyptian conglomerate Orascom committed $400 million to finishing it.
Just last year Kempinski had announced that the hotel would open “partially, probably” in 2012. However, photos taken inside the hotel last year showed it to be almost completely unfinished on the inside, a shell of a building.
Kempinski’s involvement in North Korea has always seemed a little strange — the brand is Europe’s oldest luxury hotel chain, founded in 1897. However, the renewed interest in the building seemed to fit in with new leader Kim Jong-un’s plans for a new, tourist-friendly North Korea with amusements parks, mini-golf and a online-booking for its state-run airline.
It seems that perhaps recent signs of aggression between North and South Korea may well have given the German firm reason to question the plan.
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