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North Korea Declares Its Very Own 'Pyongyang Time' Zone

Image: North Korea Declares Its Very Own 'Pyongyang Time' Zone
Will these Chinese commuters find the trains running on time when the clock on the wall is turned back 30 minutes to "Pyongyang time"? (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)

By    |   Friday, 07 Aug 2015 11:33 AM

North Korea is launching its own time zone, "Pyongyang time," which will see the hermit nation set its clocks 30 minutes behind South Korea and Japan.

"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 country's official Korea Central News Agency said Friday, according to USA Today.

The state-run news agency said further that the new time zone will take effect on Aug. 15, a date that commemorates the nation's 70th anniversary of liberation from Japan. Japan ruled over a unified Korea from 1910 to 1945, the end of World War II.

"It was the day of historical significance as it put an end to the history of national sufferings and brought about a radical turn in carving out the destiny of the country and its people," said the central news agency.

Spokesman Jeong Joon-Hee, of Seoul's Unification Ministry in South Korea, said the time difference could cause minor disruptions in the short term, and further widen the differences between the north and the south over the long term.

"In the long term, this will disrupt our efforts to integrate the South and the North and restore our homogeneity," Jeong said.

"With the new time zone, Kim Jong-un is reasserting his code words of self-reliance and national dignity to his people," Chang Yong-seok, a North Korea expert at the Institute for Peace and Unification Studies at Seoul National University, explained to The New York Times.

"Whatever difficulties and inconveniences the new time zone may cause are nothing to his government, compared with its propaganda value at home."

Chang added that it's just "another sign that the Koreas are drifting apart into two different countries."

Kim Jong-un, North Korea's current leader, ascended to power in 2011, inheriting the role from his father, Kim Jong-il.

In 2007, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, another dictator, also turned back his nation's clock by a half hour.

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North Korea is launching its own time zone, "Pyongyang time," which will see the hermit nation set its clocks 30 minutes behind South Korea and Japan.
north korea, declares, own, pyongyang, time, zone
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2015-33-07
Friday, 07 Aug 2015 11:33 AM
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