Satellite pictures showing several construction trucks and tourist photographs of cranes around the Ryugyong Hotel in North Korea suggest work may have re-started on the infamous building.
Nicknamed the Hotel of Doom, the 105-storey structure was conceived 30 years ago by Kim Jong-un’s grandfather, Kim Il-Sung. Work started in 1987, with the plan being to finish the 330m pyramid in 1989 as the tallest hotel in the world and the seventh largest skyscraper, boasting casinos, nightclubs and Japanese lounges. However, construction issues, followed by the fall of the Soviet Union and subsequent economic crisis in 1992, resulted in the doors remaining closed.
The hotel, which has cost approximately £470 million to date, hasn’t hosted a single guest.
However, visitors to North Korea have reported seeing signs of life recently.
German tourist Till Mosler said his Pyongyang guides had spoken of plans to open the hotel.
“During my stay I saw some work activity around the entrance hall and surroundings,” he told The Sun. “It seems the area around the huge building will be prepared. Also our Korean guides told us that there might be plans to open some parts of the building for the public or offices. But not the whole building so far as they know.”
This new flurry of activity follows rumours that work was resuming in July of this year, when “soldier-builders”, digging equipment and new propaganda billboards were seen behind the walls around the hotel.
In December 2016 talk that the hotel might be gearing up for opening was also rife after locals spotted lights on in the building for the first time in years.