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The Ryugyong Hotel stand above the smog dominating the Pyongyang skyline in 2011 - never finished and empty for 26 years, but soon to open for business

‘Hotel of Doom’ to finally open 26 years after construction first began in North Korea

The Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea. The building, meant to be a core monument to the strength of North Korea, was added to city maps and stamps before it was even half-built and was all set to be the tallest hotel in the world. At first the project simply ran out of funding, then as the low-quality concrete of which it was built began to sag and crack the sobering reality began to set it: the structure would need a massive overhaul to ever be completed.

The Ryugyong Hotel in the capitol of North Korea is not structurally stable - meant to be a glistening spire on the skyline, it is still half-abandoned and semi-under-construction instead. The regime largely claims it does not exist, when asked.

Get a rare look inside North Korea as CNN's Paula Hancocks describes what she saw three hours north of Pyongyang:  http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/05/world/asia/north-korea-reporter-notebook/index.html?sr=fb080613northkoreaunseen9a

The North Korea I wasn't meant to see

Get a rare look inside North Korea as CNN's Paula Hancocks describes what she saw three hours north of Pyongyang: http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/05/world/asia/north-korea-reporter-notebook/index.html?sr=fb080613northkoreaunseen9a

Ryugyong Hotel, Pyongyang

Ryugyong Hotel, North Korea North Korea's Ryugyong Hotel, described as the "Hotel of Doom" and the "Worst Building in the World", could open later this year, more than two decades after its exterior was completed.

PYONGYANG | Ryugyong Hotel | 330m | 1083ft | 105 fl | T/O - Page 264 - SkyscraperCity

Retro DPRK (North Korea) : 1989 Ryugyong Hotel Under Construction

PYONGYANG | Ryugyong Hotel | 330m | 1083ft | 105 fl | T/O - Page 10 - SkyscraperCity

PYONGYANG | Ryugyong Hotel | 330m | 1083ft | 105 fl | T/O - Page 10 - SkyscraperCity

PYONGYANG | Ryugyong Hotel | 330m | 1083ft | 105 fl | T/O - Page 7 - SkyscraperCity

PYONGYANG | Ryugyong Hotel | 330m | 1083ft | 105 fl | T/O - Page 7 - SkyscraperCity

PYONGYANG | Ryugyong Hotel | 330m | 1083ft | 105 fl | T/O - Page 266 - SkyscraperCity

PYONGYANG | Ryugyong Hotel | 330m | 1083ft | 105 fl | T/O - Page 266 - SkyscraperCity

PYONGYANG | Ryugyong Hotel | 330m | 1083ft | 105 fl | T/O - Page 11 - SkyscraperCity

PYONGYANG | Ryugyong Hotel | 330m | 1083ft | 105 fl | T/O - Page 11 - SkyscraperCity

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