Formally known as the Tower of Juche Idea, the Juche Tower was built along with the Grand People’s Study House as part of the celebration surrounding Kim-Il-sung’s 70th birthday bash.
Juche is the difficult to explain North Korean ideology developed by Kim-Il-sung that promotes a mixture of nationalism and self-reliance.
A view of the Juche Tower across the Taedong River from Kim-Il-sung Square:
And a view of the Juche Tower from the same angle at the base… Here one can see quite clearly a statue of three idealized figures that are each holding a tool. The figure holding the hammer symbolizes a worker, the figure holding a sickle symbolizes a peasant and the figure holding an ink brush symbolizes a “working intellectual”. These three tools form the insignia on the flag of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK):
The Juche Tower stands at 560 feet and is comprised of 25,550 granite blocks – one for every day of Kim-Il-Sung’s life up to his 70th birthday party.
This is a picture of the tower from the other side, which is where the entrance is, with our favorite North Korean minder – Kim – serving to provide scale:
Inside the tower is a small souvenir shop and an elevator that for five euros will transport one to the top of the tower… This was the friendly elevator operator we encountered:
And this was the unfriendly elevator operator we encountered:
The views from the top are excellent and make the five euros a worthy investment.
The view out toward the western side of Pyongyang with Kim-Il-sung Square and the Grand People’s Study House in the center of the picture and the infamous “Hotel of Doom” off to the right:
Apartment buildings for some of the elite in Pyongyang:
The view from the other side of the tower out to the eastern side of the city… This is the Tongdaewon District:
More views of the Tongdaewon District:
I found the uniformity of the buildings visually intriguing:
The view downriver to the island with the Yanggakdo Hotel on it:
An attractive park extends along the river from both sides of the Juche Tower:
This is what the park looks like on the ground:
Below is a view of the Juche Tower – the blazing pillar on the right – at night from the Yanggakdo Hotel…
A video I shot from the top of the Juche Tower to show the views in 360 degrees:
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