|The “Hotel of Doom” Peeking over dark smog in North Korea|
North Korea is one of the most secluded countries on earth. No one knows whats really behind their borders. It shuts off the rest of the world from its citizens who are among the poorest and most deprived. They depend on food aid from other countries around the world while spending huge amounts of money to finance the luxurious life of its leader and others around him. Huge amounts of cash is also spent on building up its aged military to confront an absent threat. The country also blows cash on pet projects with much fanfare only to drop these pet projects down the road. One pet project we’re speaking of is the unoccupied and unfinished so called “Hotel of Doom”. The scary looking tower known as Ryugyong Hotel to North Koreans in the capital city of Pyongyang, is 105 stories of glass over a steel and concrete frame. The building has been 3 decades in the making and still no signs of life. The structure itself has a haunting presence. Its a cross between a space rocket, a nuclear missile and an evil lair. So what happened to this hotel and why after 3 decades it still has not been completed and opened for business? CNN’s travel staff recently took a trip to North Korea to dig into this story. One reporter even made what he now calls a stupid decision to lie to his North Korean watchers and snuck into the vacant building, and was shocked by what he saw, or didn’t see.
After entering North Korea as a tourist on a four-day trip from China, Parry lied to his North Korean minder that he was going for an early morning jog, ran straight to the Ryugyong Hotel and made it into the lobby.He looked around and took pictures before being spotted by a North Korean soldier.
“When I stepped through scaffolding into the lobby and looked inside, there were no completed surfaces, just bare concrete and one electric light hanging down,” Parry told CNN.
A few days prior to his secret visit, Parry’s tour group had seen lines of soldiers with shovels marching in and out of the hotel complex.
“From what I saw of the inside, it’s a concrete shell,” said the journalist, who added that his hotel foray was a “foolish thing to do.”