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article imageKim Jong–un makes his own time zone

By Daniel Woods     Aug 8, 2015 in World
They say time waits for no one. Unless you're a deified, powerful and ruthless dictator. In which you case you can simply change it. And that is exactly what Kim Jong–un has done, introducing a new time zone — "Pyongyang time."
On Friday the North Korean State news agency announced that the government will be instating a new time zone for the country. All clocks will set back by 30 minutes to GMT + 08:30, what the state is calling "Pyongyang time."
Although this would appear at first glance an idiosyncratic move typical of an eccentric dictator, the change is actually a reversion to North Korea's pre-colonial time, before Japanese colonisation in 1910.
South Korea’s time zone was set at "Pyongyang time" GMT + 08:30 between 1954 and 1961, and there were even serious discussions in 2013, about making the same change south of the border.
The North's new time zone will commence from August 15, Gregorian time, to intentionally coincide with the 70th anniversary of liberation from Japan.
Through a quintessentially hyperbolic and vigorous state broadcast, the North Korean public were told of how:
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.
North Koreans already use their own calendar, measuring year zero from the birth of founding leader, Kim Il Sung, born in 1912, a date known as Juche 1. In North Korea it is not 2015, but Juche 104.
Chang Yong-seok, a North Korea expert at Seoul National University told the New York Times, “With the new time zone, Kim Jong-un is reasserting his code words of self-reliance and national dignity to his people,Whatever difficulties and inconveniences the new time zone may cause are nothing to his government, compared with its propaganda value at home.“
Wang Sheng, Professor of international politics at Jilin University in China also focuses on the Korean Peninsula, and predicted that the shift would not disrupt the outside world, because the North is so insular and has such little contact with the outside world.
Some difficulties may arise in inter-Korean exchanges, such as activity to and from the Kaesong Industrial Complex which is used by both nations.
More about North korea, time zones, Japan, South Korea, horology
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