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Juche tower

The Juche Tower is a monument in Pyongyang, North Korea. Completed in 1982 it is sited on the bank of the River Taedong on the edge of Kim Il Sung Square. It was made to commemorate to 70th birthday of Kim Il Sung. It is claimed that it was designed by Kim Jong Il.

The 170 metre structure is a four sided tapering 150 metre granite spire containing 25,550 blocks (one for each day of Kim Il Sung's life), dressed in white stone with seventy dividers and capped with a 20 metre high, 45 ton, illuminated metal torch. It is possible to ascend the tower. It is reported that the tower was built in 35 days and was dressed in 76 days.

Associated with the tower is a 30 metres high statue consisting of three figures - one with a hammer, one with a sickle and one with a writing brush (an idealised worker, a peasant and a "working intellectual"). There are six smaller stature groups, each 10 metres high, symbolizing other aspects of Kim Il Sung's ideology. Also close to the tower is a wall of 82 friendship plaques, apparently from foreign supporters. Around the tower there are also pavilions and water features. It is claimed that the tower has become a popular pilgrimage site for North Koreans.

The tower is named after the principle of juche, developed by Kim Il Sung as a blend of autarky, self-reliance, Korean traditionalism, and Marxism. The name of the tower is sometimes translated as the Tower of the Juche Idea or Juche Ideology Tower.

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