North Korea finally finds use for world’s tallest abandoned building

The Ryugyong Hotel now lights up the Pyongyang skyline. Picture: Instagram.

For more than 30 years, the Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang has been something of a national embarrassment for North Korea.

Despite standing prominently for three decades, the hotel has never welcomed a single guest or hotel worker, and remains unfinished as nothing but an imposing 105-storey shadow on the city’s skyline.

The pyramid-shaped hotel was being constructed in 1987 and was intended to become the world’s tallest hotel before it was simply abandoned amid a major economic crash in the late 1980s, with work never recommencing but the government also never ordering it to be torn down.

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There is still no official word that the building will ever be finished, and experts reportedly have doubts as to whether it is even structurally sound.

The Ryugyong Hotel light show includes political images and slogans. Picture: Instagram.

But the country has finally found a use for it, with the building now being used to create one of the largest light shows the world has ever seen.

Light designer Kim Yong Il was commissioned to create a show that displays images on the side of the property like a movie screen.

His response was to use 100,000 LED lights to create images including well-known North Korean monuments and stunning fireworks displays.

In true North Korean style, the light show is also being used to flash political slogans and party symbols such as “single-minded unity”, “harmonious whole” and “100 battles, 100 victories”.

The designer told AP that the creation of the light show took about five months, and includes a main show on one side of the 330m high structure, and secondary shows on the other two sides.