The move on 15 August will distance the separatist state from the “wicked Japanese imperialists” who colonised the country after World War Two,” according to the North’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
The Korean peninsula was brought into the same time zone as Japan in 1912 during its colonial rule over the country.
This was left unchanged in 1945 when the country was liberated from Japan and divided into the Soviet-backed North and the US-supported South.
Since then, Japan, North Korea and South Korea have run on the same local time – nine hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
The move, which some have suggested is designed to bolster Kim Jong-Un’s popularity on the 70th anniversary of the end of Japan’s rule, will see North Korea return to the local time used by the unified Korea from 1908.
“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,” said the KCNA.
Spokesman Jeong Joon-Hee said the North’s new time zone could also fetter efforts to narrow broadening differences between the two countries.
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