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North Korea plans to partially open landmark hotel next year

North Korea plans to partially open its landmark hotel next April to mark the centennial of the birth of Kim Il-sung, the country’s late founder, a source said Tuesday.

The move comes as the North is working on the interiors of the 105-story Ryukyong Hotel, which has stood unfinished in downtown Pyongyang for nearly 20 years due to a lack of capital.

In 2008, the North resumed construction of the skyscraper with financing from Egypt’s Orascom Telecom, the operator of a mobile phone network in the isolated communist country.

The North plans to open from the basement to the 25th floor of the hotel mainly for offices, restaurants, gymnasiums and bars on April 15, Kim’s centennial birthday, the source said.

The Pyongyang offices of international agencies and European companies are expected to move into the new building.

The North is struggling to achieve its stated goal of building a prosperous nation by next year, the centennial of the birth of Kim Il-sung, the father of current leader Kim Jong-il. (Yonhap News)
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