Saturday, August 8, 2015

North Korea to Set Clocks to Its Own Time

North Korea will launch  its own timezone.

The change — timed to mark the 70th anniversary of Korea’s liberation from Japanese rule — will reverse Japan’s 1912 decision to move the colony’s clocks forward by 30 minutes to bring it in line with Tokyo time, reports FT.

“The wicked Japanese imperialists committed even 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,” said a decree from the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, North Korea’s top legislative organ, according to a state media report on Friday.

It said the country would revert to “Pyongyang time” on August 15, the day in 1945 when its first leader Kim Il Sung “crushed the brigandish Japanese imperialists . . . and liberated Korea”.

The timezone change follows North Korea’s adoption in 1997 of the “Juche calendar” — named after Kim Il Sung’s signature ideology — which numbers years according to a system that begins with Kim’s birth in 1912.

South Korea moved its clocks back by 30 minutes in 1954, but the change was reversed seven years later after a coup by the military ruler Park Chung-hee, who would later use Japanese aid to kick-start economic development, according to FT.

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