Construction of this 105-story tower has been halted for a few years. But there is talk that the building will get finished to open next year, in 2012, because that will be the 100th anniversary of Eternal Leader Kim Il Song’s birth. There is further talk that the building will contain: (1) a hotel, (2) government offices, perhaps the Bureau of International Relations, and (3) Orascom, the Egyptian mobile phone company, which financed the tower.
There is, at last, an internal mobile communications network in North Korea. It’s a 3G network called Koryolink, a JV of Orascom with the North Korean government. I saw about 5 people with cell phones. The phones looked primitive and cost about US$200, a fortune. The network provides no access with the outside.