Juche Tower: Tower of Juche Ideology, Pyongyang


Quick Facts:

  • Height: 170-metre
  • 150-metre spire 
  • Tallest granite tower in the world.
  • The structure contains 25,550 blocks. This number represents each day of Kim Il Sung’s life up until his 70th birthday. (365×70)
  • Torch at the top: 20-metre high, 45-ton illuminated metal torch.
  • The characters written on the front of the structure read “Juche”.
  • At the base of the statue on the edge of the river, you can find a bronze statue structure. This shows a worker, farmer and intellectual holding aloft a hammer, sickle and intellectual’s brush respectively. This represents the party’s emblem, and can also be found represented at the Party Foundation Monument.



Loosely translated, ‘Juche’ means self-reliance. It is the ideology upon which the Koreans base their lives and politics. It is an ideology drawn up from Marxist-Leninist principles. It asserts that every person should harness their own destiny in order to make the nation great.

It has also been known as ‘Kimilsung-ism’ and ‘Kimjongil-ism’ at the respective times.

The Juche tower is located just in the east bank to the Taedonggang river; the river that runs through Pyongyang. It is also the backdrop to Kim Il Sung square. You can get a good view of it from the Grand People’s Study House.


As well as being impressive from afar, you can also visit and go into the tower – and ride the elevator to the top for a killer view of Pyongyang city.

Go on a clear day and the 5EUR entrance fee to take the elevator 170m is well worth it. You can walk around the top of the tower for a full panoramic view of the city.

If you don’t fancy going up or heights aren’t your thing – take a look downstairs at the entrance where you will find a wall of plaques. This wall presents 82 friendship plaques from foreign supporters and Juche study groups. This forms the entrance part to the tower.