North Korea / Places We Go

The Juche Tower

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:


One thought on “The Juche Tower

  1. Pingback: North Korea’s Grand People’s Study House | The Velvet Rocket

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s