North Korea’s Greatest Folly


Work has resumed on North Korea’s immense Ryugyong Hotel, intended as the world’s tallest hotel, but experts are predicting that it could cost 10% of the nation’s GDP to finish safely, with some even predicting a spectacular collapse if the work is not done.


The hotel was set to be the world’s largest, at 330m tall with 105 storeys, 3000 rooms and a 7 storey rotating restaurant to give panoramic views of the desolate capital of Pyongyang. However, it has already been superseded by a Dubai hotel.


The initial construction costs were estimated to be $750,000,000, which is approximately 3-4% of North Korea’s presumed GDP.

Construction began in 1982, but with the collapse of communism and a series of problems with ground subsidence and an inability to fit elevators work was cancelled in 1992; after this the hulking derelict was dubbed “the world’s tallest ruin” by bemused Chinese sources.


Construction quietly resumed in 2008 with the involvement of an Egyptian firm, and now much of the building is at least glazed, though what remains of the presumably weather ravaged interior is not clear.

“Completion,” or at least its ceremonial opening, is scheduled for the 100th anniversary of Kim Il Sung in 2012.

However, sources familiar with the edifice are saying that it could cost $2,000,000,000 to complete the structure safely due to various inadequacies in construction. This would amount to some 10% of the North Korean GDP, a crippling sum and one the leadership would surely rather spend on missiles with which to threaten its neighbours.

Should the structure not be properly finished, some are predicting its collapse, though should the funds be somehow scraped together it seems possible the nation itself might collapse.

Were it to be completed and used as a hotel North Korea’s problems might only exacerbate, as the running costs of a gigantic but empty hotel would be an even further drain.

In any case, it seems this grand spire might truly be North Korea’s greatest folly.


Via Heaven.

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    Comment by Anonymous
    19:45 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Dumb. North Korea has barely any tourism to fund it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:52 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    i bet its actually a missile base or an imperial cruiser xD

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:12 19/12/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    you're a genius O.o

    Avatar of Blu_Haze
    Comment by Blu_Haze
    18:12 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    North Korea: Actually the Brotherhood of NOD in disguise.

    Avatar of Hunger
    Comment by Hunger
    18:36 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0) least it's stupider than china..for once...

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:44 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I thought it's always stupider than China.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:37 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The US space program consumed approximately 4% of GDP while it was active. Compared to that, building a huge hotel that doesn't get nearly the same amount of publicity.

    Avatar of yggr
    Comment by yggr
    20:27 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It will be a marvelous sight, especially at night when the hotel lights shine alone upon the darkness of its vicinities.


    Avatar of Tex_Arcana
    Comment by Tex_Arcana
    21:09 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Your statement suggested that NK might be subsidized by the USSR.
    That's unlikely, doubly so if China and Russia entered a territorial war.
    But if that happened, China might invest in the NK military/economy.

    the Soviets doomed NK when they stopped being a threat. And if that's what you were saying all along, I apologize.

    Avatar of soup
    Comment by soup
    21:19 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I view this project as a good sign..

    Maybe the two Koreas will rejoin faster than I thought..

    Avatar of soup
    Comment by soup
    21:03 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    'Imagine a prosperous China, with an educated, well-informed, home-owning, and well-traveled population engaged in a host of transactions with the rest of the world. Now imagine that this population is still ruled by a party with something like the monopoly of power and controls over behavior that exist today. The combination simply doesn’t compute.'

    Communism is a great ideal, and in some cases it can even and has been established at a acceptable level..

    but once a country becomes richer, selfishness spreads.. a well educated man will not consider a poor farmer as his equal..
    and slowly the country becomes more democratic.. capitalism spreads..

    Communism is just one of the possible earlier stages of civilization, and some could argue that it could be the final stage of human society.. but that is if we ever get there..

    o hohoho hohohohoho..

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:33 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    This wouldn't have happened to North korea if the USSR was still alive..

    Communism collapsed so... there you go.

    Avatar of Tex_Arcana
    Comment by Tex_Arcana
    20:53 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    NK was always China's ant farm, they just don't make very good allies.
    When the Soviet Union collapsed, there had already been a few minor "incidents" on the Chinese border.

    So... what you're saying COULD be true, but not for the reasons you're thinking.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:57 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    so what reasons do you think Im thinking then?

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:06 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    lol "proper" anarchy. It doesn't exist(in reality) for a good reason. I'm sure we all would like to live in a world without advanced medical care, stable food production, live without technologies like computers & cellphones and go back to banging rocks together. Stick your ideals up your ass and grow up, kid.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:54 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It will be a miracle if they have a dozen rooms occupied

    Avatar of GodOfSpeed
    Comment by GodOfSpeed
    16:01 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is so so stupid >_>

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:22 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    heck! that thing looks apocalyptic! maybe is the Tower of Babel?

    Avatar of Reboot
    Comment by Reboot
    16:32 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Just a very slight tremor, and that shit will collapse like a house of cards.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:52 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Communism can never achieve its intended goals because it is fundamentally flawed. It treats all human beings(the workers to be more precise) as responsible, hard working, diligent and patriotic people; which never were.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:43 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's exactly it!

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:04 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It does look like a giant missile silo. Maybe it splits in half like buildings did on NGE launches then back as a building again. But don't know if the rooms are protected from the rocket fire.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:51 16/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I can think of three reasons I'd never want to stay in that hotel.

    1. It's in North Korea.
    2. Likely is built to questionable safety standards and from even more questionable materials.
    3. It's likely to be a target for a B2 in the near future.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:04 17/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    In any case, it seems this grand spire might truly be North Korea’s greatest folly.

    I guess if you ignore the fact they chose communism as their type of government.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:14 16/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wrong fuck-face the ideologies of Socialism came first before Communism. Communism is Socialist principles applied to it. Learn to understand a book if you actually claimed to have picked one up, palsy. =)

    Comment by Envoy Loves You
    13:15 16/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    You can check in, but you can never check out....

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:36 18/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Actually, anyone except South Koreans, Americans and, I think but am not sure, Japanese can easily acquire a tourist visa for NK. Also Americans are permitted entrance during the "Mass Games".
    They treat tourists reasonably well(by their standards) and the worst that can happen to you(if you screw up big time)is to be put on a first plane out of North Korea, for any other "minor offense"(like speaking against the "Leader")you will only get warned not to repeat it, but your "goverment minder" will pick up all the heat, as he is considered responsible for your actions.
    They orchestrate entire tours to impress foreigners(again by their standards, as they think their country is paradise when compared to others), hence the inability to wander around unsupervised. Public opinion seems very important to them and the money isn't a waste either, so they encourage tourism in their showcase capital. Sadly what North Koreans don't understand is just how bleak Pyongyang is to us.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:06 13/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Worlds tallest ruin indeed

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:03 27/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    The world's last remaining dickhead state. But if we didn't have at least one it would be boring. I'm a fan of North Korea. It makes the USA's hawks look friendly.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:16 18/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    omg it's a super death ray

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:46 20/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    You know that one episode of gundam 00's second season where the space elevator fell and almost killed a few million people...

    That city is screwed unless they can lease a few gundams from japan >_>

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:22 09/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Why does this remind me of the badguys tower from power rangers?

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:33 16/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...the next HQ of the United Nations.
    Think about it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:05 16/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    OK, lesboswede porn is a fucking (lol) brilliant investment. What the world needs more of is lesbian porn.

    Avatar of Animenz
    Comment by Animenz
    23:09 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Who want to visit North korea anyway?!?

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:12 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It loooks like shit.

    Avatar of mi
    Comment by mi
    21:43 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    they should concentrate on economy rather than military

    Comment by Schrobby
    21:59 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    At least the nazis built good stuff that could be used. In fact most buildings are still used today.

    This monster is only good for postcards. Even if it'll be completed, nobody with half a brain will visit this forsaken country.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:27 16/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Knowing North Korea, it probably fires a missile or something.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:17 16/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    This system has no way to work. First: in less then a month, it will hacked. Making an "open-to-world" program to let everyone cooperate to its growth is like saying to A WORLD OF HACKERS"hey you, please, why don't you try to hack this system and take control of my Nation?".

    Second: even without hacking, is very easy to subdue others to vote for your idea or for you, by useing force or threats... since no one can check the status of someone voting.

    Third: this system works assuming everyone has a computer for himself. If you are sharing your Pc with your mom, dad, or brother, your privacy is fucked up.. plus, no one can guarantee that the one voting is the mother, or the son... or maybe just the daddy using the accounts of everyone in the family to vot for what he likes.

    And this is only the iceberg' top of the HUGE mass of issues of this system.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:01 16/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    cut em a little slack... it takes a lot of resources for a poor country like north korea to build, furnish, and bug every room in that hotel.

    Avatar of Myballz
    Comment by Myballz
    08:40 16/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't know why they want to Invest into a Hotel that looks like a Giant Blue Penis?

    They might as well make Gambling legel in there country.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:47 16/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    it's just like Atlas in Shangri-La

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:30 16/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    last pic looks shopped

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:20 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't think the North Koreans really wanted this thing; I think the ruler wanted this thing.


    Norht Korea DOES have a visa waiver program, and they do use it. The North Korean border guards dragged a journalist on the China-side of the border, into North Korea.

    The building itself looks pretty cool in the blue-glass-everywhere Photoshopped renditions. In its current state, it looks like an ugly, triangular prison (maybe it is).

    If it collapses or is blown up, it might make a cool movie set.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:37 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's not a secret hideout then?
    The bad guys always live in the big pointy thing.

    Avatar of Y10NRDY
    Comment by Y10NRDY
    Comment by Anonymous
    11:38 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    what is the point of building this hotel when no one is going to use it?

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:28 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Thats still one of the coolest buildings i think ive ever seen. Its like something out of some fantasy world. Too bad there is nothing to do in NC except maybe tour the concentration camps and partake in family friendly fun day there, as well as sample fine North Korean delicacies such as grass

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:36 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    NC = North Carolina?

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:37 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    my bad, meant NK, was typing in the dark

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:53 17/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    i fucken lol'd

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:31 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    But the "C" is nowhere near the "K", not even on DVORAK.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:07 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well, North Carolina is NOT one of the Top Ten places in Amreica you could visit . . .

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