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Swiss firm ditches Pyongyang ‘Hotel of Doom’ project

AFP-JIJI

The Swiss luxury hotel chain Kempinski is dropping plans to open a huge pyramid-shaped hotel that has stood half-built for decades in North Korea amid tensions on the peninsula.

“Kempinski Hotels confirms that KEY International had initial discussions to operate a hotel in Pyongyang. However no agreement has been signed since market entry is not currently possible,” spokeswoman Brigitte Hohl Taylor said Tuesday, adding the talks have been halted.

In November, the Geneva-based luxury hotel chain said it hoped to open Pyongyang’s 105-story Ryugyong Hotel — a monolithic concrete shell dubbed the “Hotel of Doom” by international media that has been repeatedly delayed — this July or August.

In 2008, the project was named the “Worst Building in the History of Mankind” by U.S. magazine Esquire.