North Korea changes its time zone to combat 'wicked Japanese imperialists'

Clocks are scheduled to change on 15 August

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The Independent Online

North Korean officials have announced a change to the country's time zone to combat “wicked Japanese imperialists”.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) currently operates on the same time zone as South Korea and Japan, but state media announced on Friday that clocks will be set back by 30 minutes on 15 August.

The date is intended to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the country's liberation from Japanese forces at the end of the Second World War, according to state news Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

“The Wicked Japanese imperialists committed Crimes Such unpardonable even as depriving Korea of its standard time,” the KCNA release claims.

When the Korean peninsula was one country – prior to the Japanese colonisation in 1910 – it was 8.5 hours ahead of GMT.

The change is expected to mildly inconvenience the Kaesong industrial plant, located on the border and run jointly by North and South, with Unification official Jeong Joon-Hee telling the BBC there may be “some fallout for efforts to unify standards and reduce differences between the two sides”.

Kim Jong Un is not the first leader to arbitrarily change his nation’s time zone.

In 2007 Hugo Chavez changed Venezuela’s time zone by half an hour in order to allow citizens a “fair distribution of the sunrise”.

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