Building had remained in a state of paralysis for over 16 years, but now the world’s 24th tallest building is looking less like a product of the state that it exists in.
Everyone loves a before and after shot, don’t they?
Now, with shiny glass windows having replaced the hideous concrete facade, the exterior is looking quite impressive ( well at least the 2 sides from where images are “permitted” to be taken from – the other side is still concrete). Funnily enough, even the North Korea government hated the site of the building so much that for many years it photo-shopped the building from the skyline.
The 330-metre tall hotel dominating the Pyongyang skyline 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.
The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that South Korean estimates place the costs of completing the hotel and making it structurally sound at as much as $2 billion USD , more than 10 per cent of the North’s yearly gross domestic product.
At least the construction has not totally bankrupted the state, which it was expected to in 1992.
The sudden “renewal” is reported to be due to North Korea planning on becoming a “great and prosperous nation” by 2012.
Remembering that Rome wasn’t built in a day, I some how think that it may take a little longer than two and a half years. Although, North Korea’s benchmarks of “success” and “greatness” have been traditionally low, of course.
Watch this space!