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Submission + - Look Inside North Korea's Ryugyong Hotel for the First Time

derekmead writes: There’s no more fitting metaphor for North Korea’s Ryugyong Hotel than the fact that it’s shaped a stock market crash. Construction on the hotel began in 1987, and was supposed to be completed by 1989. By 1992, after the fall of the Soviet Union — and the resulting loss of cash flow from Moscow — put a major pinch on North Korea’s funds, construction on what was to be the world’s tallest structure at its inception halted, leaving a giant skeleton of building towering over the glittery squalor of Pyongyang like a wireframe spaceship.

In 2008, after 16 years of sitting listlessly, construction restarted on the 105-story building. It’s hard to imagine how that could even happen. Imagine 16 years of the elements pounding away at the building’s concrete skeleton, and then imagine finding construction workers who could pick up where others left off.

But now, 25 years after breaking ground, North Korean officials have opened still-unfinished hotel up for visitors, and some folks from travel agency specializing in North Korea have become the first Westerners to take pictures inside the structure. The first thing you notice is how audacious the plans actually are. Sure, the aged concrete and rusty guardrails make it clear that the structure has been sitting for some time, but it’s incredible that it was even built in the first place.
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Look Inside North Korea's Ryugyong Hotel for the First Time

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