'Hotel of Doom' Resumes Construction in Pyongyang

After a 16-year hiatus, construction has resumed on a gigantic North Korean hotel that some architects and engineers fear is so poorly built that it will never be occupied.

"Once dubbed by Esquire magazine as 'the worst building in the history of mankind,' the 105-storey Ryugyong Hotel is back under construction after a 16-year lull in the capital of one of the world's most reclusive and destitute countries.

According to foreign residents in Pyongyang, Egypt's Orascom group has recently begun refurbishing the top floors of the three-sided pyramid-shaped hotel whose 330-metre frame dominates the Pyongyang skyline.

The hotel consists of three wings rising at 75-degree angles capped by several floors arranged in rings supposed to hold five revolving restaurants and an observation deck.

[T]here [are] questions...about whether the hotel was structurally sound and a few believed completing the structure could cause it to collapse.

It would cost up to $2-billion to finish the hotel and make it safe, according to estimates in the South Korean media. That is equivalent to about 10 per cent of the North's annual economic output."

Full Story: 'Phantom hotel' freed from development limbo in Pyongyang

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