Do you care to know why an expensive Ryugyong Hotel which construction began in 1987 in Korea never open for business to date?
The story behind Ryugyong Hotel can be trace back to 1987 when the construction started and this may appeared very strange to many people owing to circumstances surrounding it.
Global Times Nigeria investigation revealed that the Ryugyong Hotel was built at a cost of £1.6billion, which is one highest scale of most hotels in the world
The Ryugyong Hotel was expected to start hosting guests since 25 years back, a development that never saw the light.
However, the hotel has never even welcomed one tourist or holidaymaker. The hotel stands in one of the poorest countries in the world North Korea – known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea under current leader Kim Jong Un – where 60% of residents live under the poverty line.
The triangular hotel has even been dubbed “Mordor” and the “Hotel of Doom” due to its height and simple exterior in one of the most closed off countries in the world.
Currently, North Korea’s borders are closed but the British government advises against all but essential travel to the region even when they are open. Despite the nation’s lack of visitors it still has its unusual hotel upon which construction began in 1987. The hotel was scheduled to open two years later at which time it would have been the world’s tallest hotel. Unfortunately for those planning the hotel it is now known as the world’s tallest unoccupied building.
Ryugyong Hotel was supposed to have 3,000 rooms and 105 storeys across three wings, but it took longer to build than it was meant to – work paused in 1992 a whopping five years after it began and wasn’t re-started until 16 years later in 2008, reports Reuters.
The pause was apparently due to an economic crisis in North Korea which rocked the nation after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Eventually, an Egyptian contractor took on the hotel and glass panels were added to the building in 2011.
While North Korean bosses said that the hotel would open in 2012 this was then delayed until 2013. A luxury German hotel group was set to manage the hotel – but just months later pulled out of the deal saying it wasn’t ‘possible’ to be a part of the North Korean market. Now, in 2023, the hotel is still apparently empty with not a single guest staying inside its very expensive walls. Who knows if it will ever manage to open?
The UK government states : “North Korea’s borders are currently closed, but few British people visit when they are open. Those that do are usually part of an organised tour. If you decide to visit North Korea, follow the advice of your tour group and the local authorities. Failure to do so could put your personal safety at risk.
“The North Korean authorities have reportedly detained some foreign nationals and denied them access to consular support. While daily life in the capital city Pyongyang may appear calm, the security situation can change quickly with no advance warning about possible actions by the authorities. This poses significant risks to British visitors and residents.
North Korea is still observing Covid-19 border restrictions and passenger routes in and out of the nation are closed. The British Embassy in Pyongyang is temporarily closed due to these restrictions. This means you cannot get consular support from within North Korea – and you cannot leave via the border with South Korea except with special permission.
The gov.uk site added: “Insults or jokes about the North Korean political system and its leadership are severely frowned upon. Foreigners have sometimes found themselves in trouble for not paying what was deemed to be a sufficient level of respect, including not treating images of the leader with care.
“In recent years, the North Korean authorities have arrested some visitors on various or unspecified grounds, including four US citizens and one Canadian. Some have faced public trials. In 2016 a US national was sentenced to 15 years hard labour after a conviction for crimes against the state. He was found to have attempted to steal a political banner from the staff quarters of a tourist hotel. When he was released in 2017, he was in a coma and died soon after his return to the US.”