The building has been planned as a mixed-use development, which would include a hotel. Construction began in 1987 but was halted in 1992 as North Korea entered a period of economic crisis.
In 2008, construction resumed, and the exterior was completed in 2011. It was planned to open the hotel in 2012, the centenary of Kim Il-sung’s birth. A partial opening was announced for 2013, but this was cancelled. The building remains unopened, having now stood empty for more than thirty years.
The Hotel is 330 meters tall, making it the most prominent feature of Pyongyang’s skyline and by far the tallest structure in North Korea. The Ryugyong Hotel is the world’s 63rd tallest building and is situated number 12 in the world for the most floors.