PYONGYANG — A Trump Tower has opened in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, in what is being hailed as a breakthrough after a historic meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un.
It is the first Western hotel to open in the secretive country, which is often called the "Hermit Kingdom."
"You know, they tell me this is the finest hotel in, literally, all of Asia. You can't beat it. And it serves the most delicious tacos," Trump told reporters. "Highly recommended for journalists when they go to cover the denuclearization of North Korea!"
Kim, who was standing next to Trump, said nothing and smiled.
The new franchise was rapidly constructed inside the existing Ryugyong Hotel, a massive 1,000-foot tall glass pyramid that sits in the heart of Pyongyang. The hotel was empty until recently, although it has been under construction for more than thirty years. Foreigners nicknamed the empty building the "Hotel of Doom."
Sources say Trump has had his eyes on the building since construction originally started in 1987. "Donald heard these Koreans were building a hotel that was going to be the seventh tallest building in the world," one of Trump's friends from the 1980s, who also worked in real estate, said. "And then someone told him that, you know, Kim Il-sung, the North Korean leader, slept on a bed of women. Maybe you've heard this, he used a bunch of naked women as a mattress. Specially selected from all across the country. Every tin-pot dictator has a pleasure brigade or two but, this was something else. And ever since then I think the Donald has always wanted to break in to the North Korean market."
The Trump Organization, however, had no assets in Korea until recently. After Chinese President Xi Jinping met Chairman Kim in person for the first time in March, Chinese investors provided seed capital and assistance getting government approval for the new Pyongyang franchise. It was approved and built in record time.
At press time, the White House did not respond to a request for further comment, although South Korean President Moon Jae-in applauded the move and said he looked forward to eating tacos with Chairman Kim. Meanwhile, The Trump Organization declared that the new Trump Tower Pyongyang would be "the finest mixed-use real-estate venture in the world," according to a written statement. "It will be a hotel, apartments, even a burger joint. You can't wait."