Category Archives: Juche

One Of The World’s Largest Hotels Is About To Open In North Korea

The hulking concrete pyramid sat untouched for more than a decade.

The partially finished Ryugyong Hotel stands out on the Pyongyang skyline in 2009.

Now, the hotel is ready to open for business.

The massive Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang is nearly ready to welcome guests after nearly two decades in the making, according to Architizer.

The pyramid-shaped hotel, the largest structure in North Korea and one of the tallest hotels in the world, will open in 2012, 33 years after it was originally set to accept guests.

Construction on the project was stalled for 15 years until 2008, when Egyptian conglomerate Orascom committed $400 million to finishing it, Architizer reported.

The tower’s sleek and shiny facade was finally completed this year.

The hotel, which has more than 3,000 rooms, will reportedly have five revolving restaurants. It is the only hotel in the world with more than 100 stories, though the Emirates Park Towers, which opened in Dubai this year, is technically taller.

North Korea’s Kumgang tourist district is also apparently ramping up on its efforts to attract tourists. The country reportedly agreed to allow foreign entities to invest in the troubled resort area in May.


Coca-Cola & KFC to be introduced to the DPRK

PYONGYANG – Coca-Cola and Kentucky Fried Chicken are to be supplied to Pyongyang by end of this year, according to YTN.

Representatives from the two companies paid a visit to North Korea last week, invited by a domestic government-owned company that specializes in hosting foreign investments.

Although Pyongyang has introduced foreign food like pasta or hamburgers to its citizens, this would be the first international chain to open a branch.

The first chain is to be opened by this autumn, along with official supply of Coke.

North Korea is hastening the relaxing of its relationship with the western countries, allowing foreign news agencies like the Associated Press and Reuters to open branches in the capital.

As Coca-Cola and KFC are often referred to as symbols of global capitalism, not to mention American culture, the North’s intention brings about controversies concerning acceptance of the market system.


China’s Free Trade Zone in DPRK set to open soon

Workers assemble an advertising board on the Chinese side of a special economic zone straddling the mainland and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, in Dandong, Liaoning province, on Friday.

A free-trade area and a tax-free zone will be set up as part of the first special economic zone straddling the mainland and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), a Chinese government official told China Daily.

Dai Yulin, secretary of the Dandong committee of the Communist Party of China, said the area will help boost foreign direct investment, turning the zone into a hot investment destination.

In early June, China and the DPRK agreed to build three special economic zones to enhance China-DPRK economic and trade cooperation and promote economic relations with the rest of the world.

A free-trade area of 20,000 sq m will be established on Hwanggumpyong Island, an undeveloped DPRK island adjacent to China’s border city of Dandong, Liaoning province, where a tax-free zone of 10 sq km will be set up.

“Hwanggumpyong Island and Dandong city will become the hot ground for investors worldwide, as vast business opportunities exist on the island, DPRK’s first open zone where international trade projects related to the DPRK will be developed,” Dai said.

He said both domestic and foreign investors have shown great interest in joining the economic zone.

“Projects in sectors of marine engineering, special steel, colored steel and car audio will soon settle in Hwanggumpyong Island and Dandong city,” he said.

Those economic zones will be followed by development of the Rason and Wihwa Island economic zones.

According to Li Wei, an economist from Standard Chartered Shanghai, establishing these zones will have a positive impact on the economies of both the DPRK and China’s northeast region.

“Prosperity in the DPRK will help stabilize the economic and political situation in the Asia-Pacific region,” he said.

Companies are also expressing their interest in the DPRK.

“We can grasp more investing opportunities in both the Hwanggumpyong zone and the DPRK, as more business laws and market regulations are set up to complement the international economic environment in the DPRK, which is still in its infancy in terms of attracting foreign investment,” said a permanent delegate at China Aerospace Beijing Changfeng Co Ltd’s Pyongyang office, who declined to be named.

The DPRK announced it would open up to the outside and promote local economic growth after leader Kim Jong-il visited China from May 20 to 26, signaling Pyongyang’s approach to studying China’s development and attracting more Chinese investment.

“Pyongyang is now increasing its efforts to develop the economy. Kim’s visit helped promote the construction of the highway connecting China’s Hunchun city and Najin in the DPRK and a new bridge across the Yalu River, projects which can help attract more Chinese investment to the DPRK,” said Hu Mingyuan, an assistant research scholar with the Center for Northeast Asian Studies, a research institution in Jilin province.

“We expect to see details about rules and regulations tailored for the special economic zone and the free trade zone. A stable investment environment is the most important thing,” said Zhang Xiaoji, senior researcher at the Development Research Center of the State Council.