North Korea is creating a new time zone for one unexpected reason

Kim Jong UnKorean Central News AgencyKim Jong Un tours a housing complex in Pyongyang, North Korea.

Kim Jong-Un and his cohorts have decided to break away from the oppressive strictures of “imperialism” and reclaim the country’s old time zone.

In a state news agency report, KCNA stated North Korea wants to turn clocks back by a half hour starting on August 15, the 70th anniversary of the Korean liberation from Japan.

The move will revert the country to its original time zone, 8.5 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which was in effect until 1910. Since then, both Koreas and Japan have remained nine hours ahead of GMT.

Now North Korea wants to take back its time.

The country recently described the “wicked Japanese imperialists” as having “deprived Korea of even its standard time” while occupation was in place, the BBC reported.

Implementing so-called Pyongyang Time will symbolise “the unshakable faith and will of the service personnel and people on the 70th anniversary of Korea’s liberation.”

North Korea is known for its bombastic and outlandish claims, but changing time zones isn’t unheard of.

Actually, it’s surprisingly common.

  • Venezuela dialed the clocks back by half an hour in 2007 because President Hugo Chavez wanted to more fairly distribute the sunrise to Venezuelans. Samoa did the same in 2011 to more easily communicated with Australia and New Zealand.
  • Stateside, Hawaii has never observed the tradition of Daylight Saving Time (DST). It doesn’t need to. Its low latitude doesn’t produce enough variation in daylight between the seasons.
  • In Indiana, between 1970 and 2006, the counties in the Eastern time zone did not observe DST while those in the Central time zone did. Today, the entire state observes DST even though county lines are still split so that 12 counties use Central time and 80 counties use Eastern time.

If North Korea goes ahead with its plan next week it will join Venezuela, currently 4.5 hours behind GMT, as the second country to operate on a half-hour time zone.

More than likely, it will also run into problems conducting its normal business with South Korea, whose employees will either show up a half hour early or late to every meeting.

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