Kim Jong Un Makes Symbolic Move With Clocks

North changes its time zone to match the South's
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 5, 2018 8:29 AM CDT
An unidentified uniformed man adjusts his wristwatch in front of a clock of the Pyongyang Station in Pyongyang, North Korea, early Saturday, May 5, 2018.   (Kyodo News via AP)/Kyodo News via AP)

(Newser) – North Korea readjusted its time zone to match South Korea's on Saturday and described the change as an early step toward helping the longtime rivals "become one" following a landmark summit. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un promised to sync his country's time zone with the South's during his April 27 talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. A dispatch from the North's Korean Central News Agency says that promise was fulfilled Saturday by a decree of the nation's Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly. The Koreas used the same time zone for decades before the North in 2015 created its own "Pyongyang Time" by setting its clocks 30 minutes behind South Korea and Japan, per the AP.

The North said at the time that it did so to root out the legacy of Tokyo's 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula, when clocks in Korea were changed to be the same as in Japan. "Pyongyang Time" was created as tensions between the authoritarian country and the US grew over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program and international sanctions aimed at dismantling it. The news agency said resynchronizing North and South Korean time was "the first practical step" since the summit "to speed up the process for the north and the south to become one and turn their different and separated things into the same and single ones." (Kim Jong Un may be changing a longtime habit.)

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