North Koreans will be turning their clocks back by 30 minutes next week as the country announces it will establish its own time zone.

Currently, local time in North Korea is nine hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. Other countries also in the same time zone are South Korea and Japan. The three countries have shared the same time zone since Japan’s rule over what was then a unified Korea from 1910 to 1945.

Pyongyang will have its own timezone on Saturday, August 15, to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of Japanese rule in Korea. Photo: Wikimedia.

The North’s Official Korean Central News Agency said “Pyongyang time” will take effect on Saturday, August 15, to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of Japanese rule in Korea.

The KCNA dispatch said: “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.”

Half-hour time differences are not uncommon. Some countries such as Iran, Myanmar are in timezones offset by half an hour, whilst parts of India and Australia have half and even quarter-hour deviations from the standard time.

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Vicky Wong

Vicky is a British-born Chinese journalist with three years of experience covering UK politics. She previously worked for PoliticsHome and has interned at Sky News and CNN International. She also co-produced and filmed a documentary about the Hong Kong protests for MSNBC, which won the grand student prize at the 2015 Human Rights Press Awards. She has a BA in Politics and International Relations from the University of Reading and moved to Hong Kong in 2014 to complete a journalism masters at the University of Hong Kong.