N Korea to rejoin South's time zone | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 30, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:34 AM, April 30, 2018

N Korea to rejoin South's time zone

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he would move the country's clocks 30 minutes forward to unify with the South's time zone as a conciliatory gesture after Friday's inter-Korean summit, Seoul said yesterday.

The two countries on the divided peninsula have had different time zones since 2015 when the North suddenly changed its standard time to 30 minutes behind the South.

Pyongyang cited a nationalistic rationale, saying it would return the North to the time zone used before Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule of the peninsula to mark the 70th anniversary of its liberation from Tokyo.

But Kim promised to change the time zone back during the historic summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Moon's spokesman said.

Kim said he found it "heartbreaking" to see two wall clocks hanging at the summit venue showing different times for the two neighbours, the spokesman Yoon Young-chan said.

"Since we were the ones who made the change from the standard time, we will go back to the original time," Yoon quoted Kim as saying.

The creation of "Pyongyang time" drew criticism from Seoul for further deepening the disparity between the two Koreas, whose division was sealed by the 1950-53 Korean War. The two countries have remained technically at war after the conflict ended with an armistice instead of a peace treaty. Moon and Kim on Friday vowed to seek a formal end to the war.

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