North Korea Turns Back Clocks and Establishes New Timezone Out of Spite

Alvin Ward
getty images
getty images / getty images

August 15th marks the the 70th anniversary of Korea’s liberation from Japanese rule. North Korea plans on celebrating "Liberation of Fatherland Day," as they call it, in a style that is uniquely their own. Officials in Pyongyang said on Friday that it will be turning its clocks back half an hour and establishing its own timezone. North Korea has shared a timezone with Japan since 1910, the beginning of the country's period of rule over them. Soon, North Korea will switch back from GMT +9 to +8.30.

“The wicked Japanese imperialists committed such unpardonable crimes as depriving Korea of even its standard time while mercilessly trampling down its land with 5,000-year-long history and culture and pursuing the unheard-of policy of obliterating the Korean nation,” the dispatch from North Korea's central news agency, KCNA, said.

Meanwhile, South Korea is content with its timezone and continues to use it because it is perfectly practical. There is concern that the time switch will cause technical problems for the jointly run industrial park at North Korea's border city Kaesong, and this switch may further drive a wedge between North and South Korean culture.

[h/t: The Guardian]