Wednesday, May 21, 2008


If you just love buildings inspired by the grim world of 1984, you will be pleased to know that construction has begun again on the infamous Ryukyung Hotel.
“Construction of the 105 story Pyongyang hotel, the Ryukyung Hotel, began in 1987 as a propaganda display of the superiority of the North Korean governing system which was engaged in a legitimacy competition with the South at the time. Construction was suspended two years later due to lack of funds.

South Koreans visiting Pyongyang witnessed the construction being carried out by Orascom Construction Industries S.A.E., an Egyptian company which is preparing to build a mobile phone network in Pyongyang.”

I am glad the North Korean regime has their priorities in order. Lord knows they are currently trouble free! Only North Korea would build a massive hotel for the tourists they never plan to let in.


the suspect said...

hmmmm... i love your last line. i dont understand how n. korea does it work but for a reason only their govy could appreciate, what they do always is something worth npticing. primarily because, in my opinion, they are the most hostile asian nation (aside from myanmar) & they have the machinery to build something that can destroy countries.

Anonymous said...

Why did they build this thing? Were they expecting tourists from other communist countries back in the 80s?

Roland Dodds said...

North Korea is always trying to one-up the South, so I bet this was built to show off how great and wonderful the North Korean government is. The fact that they never even finished this monstrosity also says a lot about the regime.

And it’s also not surprising that they have restarted construction on it now, since Seoul is the World Design Capital for 2010. As if when they finish this hotel, Pyongyang will get to be the Design Capital in one of the subsequent years.

Roland Dodds said...

As for people to stay in the hotel, I don’t think that was ever the point. It was to be a visible representation of the regime, and I don’t find it ironic in the least that it is empty inside.

When they first started building it, the NK media would report that a newborn could sleep in a new room every night, and that it would take them 20 years to see each one. I don’t think that’s true, but it sure is the kind of thing the regime would say.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

As far as I remember, the building is considered unsafe and should have been condemned, not that there are resources to demolish it. But then, it's just another SEP (somebody else's problem).

And re "visible representation of the regime" - I suspect you are right - it looks like a putz ;-)