Northern Lights

Pyongyang’s giant pyramid puts on a massive light show

Architecture International Lighting
The pyramidal Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea, has been covered in massive LED screens. (Image via imgur)
The pyramidal Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea, has been covered in massive LED screens. (Image via imgur)

A video released by Facebook page North Korea Girls 북조선녀성 reveals that an enormous LED light wall that has been added to the massive pyramidal Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea. In the minute-long video posted Monday, seemingly taken from a car passing by the hotel, the facade of the hotel was lit with flashing animations of lotus flowers, ornate landscapes, spinning lights, and ending with a political statue standing in front of a backdrop of colorful fireworks.

The Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea, surrounded by giant LED screens. (Courtesy North Korea Girls 북조선 녀성)

The Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea, covered by giant LED screens. (Courtesy North Korea Girls 북조선 녀성)

The social media page North Korea Girls is a community in Pyongyang, Korea. Affiliated with the website friend.com.kp, the page delivers anonymous pictures, videos, and news from North Korea with English-language narratives.

Reports from various sources earlier this year say that the LED display was only added to a portion of the structure. The North Korean government is not readily open to foreign journalists, and whatever video has been made publicly available has likely passed through government censors, presumably for boosterism purposes. The 105-floor Pyongyang skyscraper has been empty since its groundbreaking more than 30 years ago in 1986. As Huffington Post reported, it is “the world’s tallest unoccupied building,” and has been, “plagued by engineering problems (including crooked elevator shafts) and a lack of funding.”

The Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea, covered by giant LED screens. (Courtesy North Korea Girls 북조선 녀성)

The video shows patriotic imagery and motion graphics. (Courtesy North Korea Girls 북조선 녀성)

The post-modern, pyramidal structure was supposed to host “restaurants, offices, and hotel rooms.” It remains unclear whether or not the North Korean government is determined to complete its construction in the near future.

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