North Korea is creating its own time zone

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Supreme leader Kim Jong-Un has decided in all his wisdom that it's a good idea for North Korea to be in a time zone of its very own, TIME reports, as the country prepares to commemorate the 70th anniversary of their independence from Japan.


Pyongyang Standard Time will be half an hour behind Japan Standard Time, and kicks in on Aug. 15, North Korean Independence Day.

"The wicked Japanese imperialists committed such unpardonable crimes as depriving Korea of even its standard time while mercilessly trampling down its land," the government's KCNA news agency said, according to Al Jazeera.


North Korea has used Japan Standard Time since 1912 and was under Japanese rule from 1910–1945.

South Korea's not thrilled about the decision. They're been on the same time as North Korea and Japan and they're worried that already difficult communication with the north will be even harder when there's a half-hour time difference.

A South Korean government spokesperson told Al Jazeera, "In the long-term it would cause inconvenience in inter-Korean integration, unifying standards, and restoring homogeneity between North Korea and South Korea."

Other plans to commemorate independence day in the country include a concert by a possibly-fascist Slovenian band along with the usual military parades.


The BBC reports that there's no international body that regulates what time zone countries are in—it's up to individual governments. They also remind us that in 2007, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez made the exact same move as Kim Jong-Un, setting the country's time zone back half an hour for a "more fair distribution of the sunrise," whatever that means.

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