Much confusion and mystery surrounds the 105-story, pyramid-shaped Ryugyong Hotel, also known as the “Hotel of Doom,” in North Korea.
Last week, Pyongyang took walls surrounding the building down, unveiling walkways to the hotel, fuelling speculation that construction might start again, according to Fox News.
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 short in the early 1990s because of an economic depression.
An Egyptian company was hired to make some improvements in 2008, and there have been rumours in the last few years that it could open soon, but the hotel’s fate remains unknown.
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.
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.
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 2014, construction on the road below leading to the hotel was finished, fuelling more rumours about it opening.
In October 2016, rumours continued to abound after people noticed three lights had been turned on at the top of the building. But still nothing happened.
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!'
The wall was removed on July 27, the anniversary of the Korean War armistice, fuelling more speculation about what would come next.
Below is construction equipment still resting next to the hotel, which reportedly has already cost more than $A792 million to build.
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.
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