North Korea is creating its own time zone, setting clocks back 30 minutes from the standard time set under Japanese rule.
The country will be switching to Pyongyang Time next week, as the country decided to mark its liberation from Japan in 1945.
Its current standard time, 9 hours ahead of GMT, is the same as South Korea and Japan, and was established during Japan’s colonial rule of the country.
North Korean news agency KCNA announced:
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
The new time zone will put North Korea back to 8.5 hours ahead of GMT, the time zone both North and South Korea had before being colonised in 1910.
North Korea is already a world apart in many ways, of course, but by offsetting its standard time by just 30 minutes, the country joins the very small number of the world’s countries that don’t differ by increments of an hour.
Will any countries follow suit in adopting a time zone of their own? Bookmaker Paddy Power has looked into it and found Russia most likely to be next, with 4 to 1 odds, ahead of South Korea (8 to 1), Cuba (20 to 1) and Hawaii (40 to 1).