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NK-hotel project

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

SEOUL, March 29 (Yonhap) -- The planned opening of the 105-story Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang was put on hold due to "market conditions," a U.S.-based Internet media outlet said Friday.

According to NK News, international hotel group Kempinski put on hold its plan to open the high-rise hotel in Pyongyang, citing "market conditions" in North Korea.

The chief of the hotel group said in Seoul late last year that his company was planning to partly open the hotel sometime in mid-2013.

The pyramid-shaped hotel had stood unfinished in downtown Pyongyang for more than 20 years as the cash-strapped country struggled to secure foreign investment in the project. Construction restarted in 2008 after Kempinski joined Egyptian firm Orascom Group in the project to finish and manage the hotel.

Analysts said political and economic risks may have played a part in the suspension of the project.

Tensions are sharply escalating on the Korean Peninsula as the North has continued to issue military threats to the U.S. and South Korea. The North has repeatedly threatened to mount nuclear attacks, condemning joint military drills by the U.S. and the South and the United Nations' punitive resolutions on the country's December rocket launch and the third nuclear test on Feb. 12.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/yonhap-news-agency/130329/nk-hotel-project