105 Building (construction began 1987, abandoned 1991)
The "105 Building" is one of the boldest buildings in Pyongyang. From a distance, it is a dreadful, if awe-inspiring piece of architecture. It reminds one of the following passage from George Orwell's book, 1984:
The Ministry of Truth�Minitrue, in Newspeak�was startlingly different from any other object in sight. It was an enormous pyramidal structure of glittering white concrete, soaring up, terrace after terrace, three hundred meters into the air...The Ministry of Truth contained, it was said, three thousand rooms above ground level, and corresponding ramifications below. (from 1984, by George Orwell, c. 1949)
This Pyongyang building is not actually a government ministry or a place of terror, but the Yu-kyung hotel. In a strange coincidence, it is the same height as the building in 1984 and contains the same number of rooms.
Construction of the building began in 1987 and was abandoned four years later. Some people say that faulty engineering has left it structurally unsound, and visitors are not allowed to approach it up close.
All images copyright 2000 Dr. T. C. Kim
Chong, Bong-uk (editor). A Handbook on North Korea.
Naewoe Press, 1998. Seoul
Orwell, George. 1984
Penguin Books, 1992. USA
Pyongyang Review (no authors listed)
Foreign Language Publishing House, 1988. Pyongyang