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North Korea

Rare photos show bare lobby inside enormous North Korea hotel

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    In this Sept. 23, 2012 photo released by Koryo Group on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012, the pyramid-shaped, 105-story Ryugyong Hotel stands in Pyongyang, North Korea. (AP/Koryo Group)

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    In this Sept. 23, 2012 photo released by Koryo Group, visitors tour the top floor of the 105-story Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea. (AP/Koryo Group)

A foreign tour agency has released the first public photos from inside the tallest and most notorious building in North Korea: the 105-story, pyramid-shaped Ryugyong Hotel, which remains unfinished more than 20 years after construction began.

Beijing-based Koryo Tours got a peek at the interior of the hotel in Pyongyang, the capital. Photos taken by the company Sunday show a bare concrete lobby, as well as sweeping views of Pyongyang from a viewing platform.

North Korea began building the Ryugyong in the 1980s but stopped when funding ran out in the 1990s. Exterior construction resumed three years ago, but few have been allowed inside. Koryo says it will open in two or three years.

The enormous hotel remains a source of fascination — and ridicule — for the outside world.