At 105 stories, the Ryugyong Hotel in North Korea is the tallest unoccupied building in the world. While its formation has been stalled for 25 years, recent construction at the hotel could indicate that North Korea is ready to complete its embarrassing unfinished project.
Work on the hotel started 30 years ago under Kim Il Sung, grandfather to current leader Kim Jong Un. The plan was for the Ryugyong Hotel to be the tallest hotel in the world, complete with 3,000 rooms, revolving restaurants, casinos, nightclubs and Japanese lounges. But the inside was never finished, and there are rumors that the building is structurally unsound.
While it was supposed to open in 1989, construction problems delayed the project, and the hotel was shuttered altogether after the fall of the Soviet Union resulted in North Korea’s 1992 economic crisis.
In the latest update, North Korea has taken down the walls surrounding the building, exposing two walkways that lead up to the pyramid-shaped hotel. A new propaganda sign reading “Rocket Power Nation” has been placed outside.
On Wednesday’s “Pat & Stu,” Stu Burguiere explained the background of the futuristic hotel and what it symbolizes for North Korea’s socialist regime, calling the failed project “a giant monument to how crappy communism really is.”