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Government Idle News

North Korea Is Switching To a New Time Zone 236

jones_supa writes: North Korea has announced that it is winding its clocks back by half a hour to create a new "Pyongyang Time" — breaking from a time standard imposed by what it called "wicked Japanese imperialists" more than a century ago. The change will put the standard time in North Korea at UTC +8:30. North Korea said that the time change, approved on Wednesday by its rubber-stamp parliament and officially announced on Friday, would come into effect from August 15, which this year marks the 70th anniversary of the Korean peninsula's liberation from Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule.
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North Korea Is Switching To a New Time Zone

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  • not the only coutry (Score:2, Interesting)

    by etash ( 1907284 )
    France does the same. It should be on the same time zone as the UK but it isn't due to reasons known to everyone.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Cigaes ( 714444 )
      France is in the same time zone as most of Europe, from Spain (9.3W-3.3E) to Macedonia (20.5E-23.0E). Why should it want to be on the same time zone as the UK, which nowadays is part of America? The French lifestyle is already shifted towards late hours: summertime UTC+2 makes the daytime better matched to it, and would do so even in winter. UTC+3 would probably be even better, in fact.
      • by etash ( 1907284 ) on Friday August 07, 2015 @11:47AM (#50269549)
        That's where it geographically should be (Greenwich meridian) and it isn't for political reasons. It's not just what you said, but also reasons such as differentiating from the UK.France's time was GMT+0 and it was changed by occupying Nazis. When the war ended, there was a decision to change it back but it was canceled.

        Spain is in the "wrong" time-zone as well due to Franco's decision during WW2.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
        • Does not really matter how when and why.
          Fact is, geographically France is in the wrong time zone, however the parent is right. There is nothing better than sitting outside on the streets at 22:30 and enjoying the colours of a sunset in its final stage, in summer ofc. I also like it nit to be waken in the morning at 7:00 by glaring sunlight.

          If I was the Kaiser of Germany, I would put us also an additional hour more 'west' :)

          Regarding our parent, I doubt Macedonia is in CE(S)T. Greece definitely is not. Excep

          • by dejanc ( 1528235 )

            Regarding our parent, I doubt Macedonia is in CE(S)T. Greece definitely is not. Except they changed since I have been there the last time. (To lazy to look that up)

            Macedonia is in CET, as well as everything north of it (Serbia, Hungary, Poland...). Both Serbia and Macedonia still keep CET as part of Yugoslavian legacy, though geographically, IMHO, it would make sense to shift a timezone in their time zone, since we are on the far east of our timezone. We get very early sunrise and if you work 8-5 or 9-6,

      • by shadowrat ( 1069614 ) on Friday August 07, 2015 @12:21PM (#50269847)
        ha! You just cleared up one of the great mysteries of my life! I remember sitting in paris watching the Eiffel tower begin twinkling at dusk. It was some ungodly late hour and I thought, "Man, how can it still be so light out? Paris must be way farther north than i originally thought."

        mystery solved.
    • The UK is not on the same time zone as the UK half the year. Get rid of summer time first, then we can deal with zones.

      • by etash ( 1907284 )
        why get rid of them ?

        what you're saying is totally unrelated to my point. My point is that NK is not the only country in the world that does the "crazy enough" thing of not having the time zone it should have.
    • by godrik ( 1287354 )

      I don't know the history but I always assumed it was to be aligned with trading partners : germany, belgium, luxembourg, italy, netherland and switzerland, ...
      There is a lot of communication and traffic between these countries. It makes things easier. One hour difference is no big deal. But having to adjust clock and foresee time difference whenever you travel is annoying and can easily cause confusion.

      • by angel'o'sphere ( 80593 ) on Friday August 07, 2015 @02:10PM (#50270637) Journal

        In Napolions times, Germany was divided into half a hundred principals, Dukedoms, and small Kingdoms. Everyone having its own time zone. As the principal of the realm liked it to have his personal 'noon' at 12:00 when the sun was at the highest point above his palace.
        And even after Germany was united into an empire, most regions kept their 'private' time. Often just 10 or 11:30 minutes of from the neighbour.
        The unified german time was forced upon the regions by railway companies. It simply makes no sense that a train starts 12:00 local time and arrives at 11:55 local time.
        So yes, the reason why Europe basically only has three time zones is to make trade and travel more easy

  • And (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gription ( 1006467 ) on Friday August 07, 2015 @11:06AM (#50269239)
    No one cares
    • by MouseR ( 3264 )

      Pretty much. When Oracle bought the company I worked for (CS&T/Lexacom), it was for our Calendar server and apps (remember Netscape Calendar? That was us). Our server would periodically download an international air traffic controller time zone files that the aviation industry uses to synchronizes their world clocks (in terms of time zone usage... actual clocks mare timed using the atomic clocks). Our client code would download this time zone file through our server and parse them for proper display of

      • I disagree, though not for the reasons you cite here.

        If I were sovereign state with computer-based attack capability, I would do exactly this.

        The entire nation now keeps a clock which is distinct from the rest of the world. If they were to release some sort of malware, they would have an exceedingly simple way of preventing the attacks from affecting its own systems simply by looking at the UTC offset.

        Even if that isn't the impetus for the change, it would be idiotic for them not to use it for that purpose

  • by swimboy ( 30943 ) on Friday August 07, 2015 @11:07AM (#50269249)

    I'd think to ensure accuracy, they'd wind back their clocks 60 years.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 07, 2015 @11:22AM (#50269377)

      I'm surprised that they decided on an even half hour offset. That's been done before - The glorious Democratic People's Republic of Korea should not be bound by convention!

      To counter the western imperialist timezone scheme and it's England-based meridian, they really should be at UTC+8:22:57 -- or rather, UTC should be such that it's PYT-8:22:57.

      All hail the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and its glorious leader Kim Jong-un, may he lead forever!

  • Keep trying to poke the world in the eye with your little stick..

    Seriously? Who cares? It just means that all the computers in North Korea won't show the right time until somebody decides to update the operating system..

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Koreans, even North Koreans, have very legitimate historical reasons to tell Japan to FUCK OFF.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 07, 2015 @11:22AM (#50269373)

        Koreans, even North Koreans, have very legitimate historical reasons to tell Japan to FUCK OFF.

        And everyone knows the best way to piss off a Japanese person is to be 1/2 an hour out of their timezone

      • by bobbied ( 2522392 ) on Friday August 07, 2015 @11:35AM (#50269467)

        Koreans, even North Koreans, have very legitimate historical reasons to tell Japan to FUCK OFF.

        That is true, but how does THIS have anything to do with what Japan did to them before WW2? How's it harm Japan if NK want's to change their wristwatches? Yea, I'm sure that has half of Tokyo shaking in their boots....

        This is not much more than symbolic, but NK has been reduced to making symbolic gestures for decades. (Hey, isn't that little'Un with is middle finger in the air again?) I'm laughing over here in North America, and I'm sure about all that's shaking in Japan is heads..

    • Facepalm ...
      That might be true for windows.
      However every other decent OS simply sets the TIME variable correctly and you can have arbitrary timezones.
      And I would bet you can do that under windows, too.

      • by bobbied ( 2522392 ) on Friday August 07, 2015 @02:46PM (#50270843)

        Yea, just don't try to connect up to a NTP server or build a strat 1 server from a GPS receiver when you fudge the hardware clock... You are going to be on your own. And that's going to make things like navigation and advancing technology all that much harder there.

        Little'Un just made life harder for his people by doing this, but he doesn't care. Folks have to remember ONE very important fact. Little'Un does what he does for consumption INSIDE of North Korea and that's it. The world will deride him for doing stupid things, but what matters is how the North Korean's perceive it. You can bet they all praise "Dear Leader" for his strong defiance of the Imperialist Japan and most will actually believe what they are saying. Few will realize that he's really showing his impotence, his lack of power and how the rest of the world is making fun of him and the ones that DO realize this won't say anything different because they know it means death for them and their extended families.

        So while we laugh because we find it funny, in reality this is really very sad for the people it most concerns..

        • by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Friday August 07, 2015 @04:18PM (#50271273)

          The world will deride him for doing stupid things, but what matters is how the North Korean's perceive it. You can bet they all praise "Dear Leader" for his strong defiance of the Imperialist Japan and most will actually believe what they are saying.

          Countries like North Korea are like nation-sized McDonald's restaurants: none believe the corporate bullshit, and the management knows perfectly well they don't, but everyone play their roles anyway while the clown in charge rakes in the profits. It's a little piece of Hell on Earth.

  • by Sneeka2 ( 782894 ) on Friday August 07, 2015 @11:11AM (#50269279)

    Darn, now I need to update all my timezone related code to handle all my North Korean customers correctly...

  • Just like their missiles, the North Korean time keeping industry must be very precise, but the accuracy doesn't match the real world. :-) Actually, looking at the maps, their new timezone probably means it will be closer to solar noon when their clocks say so. All kinds of strangeness related to timezones anyway, all over the world.
    • by WoodburyMan ( 1288090 ) on Friday August 07, 2015 @11:30AM (#50269431)
      The Unified Korea actually set a Timezone of +8:30 GMT back in 1910. In 1912 when Japan took over, it was reset to Japanese +8:00 GMT. After liberation, South Korea briefly for a year or two went back to +8:30 for a few years in the 50's I believe, but reverted to Japanese +8:00 for economic reasons.
      • by dj245 ( 732906 )

        The Unified Korea actually set a Timezone of +8:30 GMT back in 1910. In 1912 when Japan took over, it was reset to Japanese +8:00 GMT. After liberation, South Korea briefly for a year or two went back to +8:30 for a few years in the 50's I believe, but reverted to Japanese +8:00 for economic reasons.

        What possible economic reasons could there be? A 30 minute time difference isn't going to make the slightest difference to businesses. It isn't like clocks are sold with fixed time zones and sharing a time zone means they only have to design 1 model.

        • It actually does. Commerce and Business support hours, co-manufacturing. When you need to get a hold of someone for a business critical decision, and it's 4:30pm one place, 5:00pm somewhere else, it makes all the difference. Likewise stock market and trading as well. There's actually a movement in the United States to throw the Continental U.S. into 2 time zones, down from 4, for economic reasons so that cities in different time zones that border each other are more in sync. http://news.slashdot.org/story.. [slashdot.org]
  • Does North Korea really think that anyone cares about their timezone changes? If so, why then does North Korea keep its network isolated from the rest of the world?
    • The news is that there is something new to say about North Korea that is neither crack pot pretentious threats nor a violation of human rights.
  • by hduff ( 570443 ) <hoytduff@@@gmail...com> on Friday August 07, 2015 @11:29AM (#50269421) Homepage Journal

    Will it also update the year in Best Korea from 1954?

  • by Sponge Bath ( 413667 ) on Friday August 07, 2015 @11:30AM (#50269427)

    Op, op, op, op
    Oppa Pyongyang style.

  • by X10 ( 186866 ) on Friday August 07, 2015 @11:39AM (#50269489) Homepage

    The Great Leader doesn't want to conform to imperialist standards, so his new standard is 13 minutes off hours, and its days are 27 hours long so his people can work longer hours. Also, the Gread Leader made Earth rotate slower, to match is new time standard. On His birthday, as his PR agency announced, Earth will stand still for an hour out of respect for the Great Leader. This is all true, I kid you not.

    • by deKernel ( 65640 )

      So to accept the Great Leaders great decision, do I have to get an ugly $2.00 haircut and gain 20 lbs in the gut to match the Great Leaders look?

    • by jd2112 ( 1535857 )

      The Great Leader doesn't want to conform to imperialist standards, so his new standard is 13 minutes off hours, and its days are 27 hours long so his people can work longer hours. Also, the Gread Leader made Earth rotate slower, to match is new time standard. On His birthday, as his PR agency announced, Earth will stand still for an hour out of respect for the Great Leader. This is all true, I kid you not.

      I saw a report the other day of NK having sent an astronaut to Saturn who landed and planted the NK flag and collected some rock samples.
      Neat trick being a gas giant.

  • SK is UTC+9, like Japan, while they're much more westy. This is a way to get lengthy sunny evenings. NK being even more West side, the change is relevant.
  • Wait... (Score:5, Funny)

    by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Friday August 07, 2015 @11:44AM (#50269527)

    North Korea has clocks?

  • Now there's an odd half-hour difference with both land neighbours. On the other hand, now DPRK will have an integer-hours difference between its times and those in India, Iran and Afghanistan.
    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot@wo[ ]net ['rf.' in gap]> on Friday August 07, 2015 @12:02PM (#50269675)

      Now there's an odd half-hour difference with both land neighbours. On the other hand, now DPRK will have an integer-hours difference between its times and those in India, Iran and Afghanistan.

      And Newfoundland. The Labrador part of the province is at UTC-4, while the Newfoundland half is UTC-3.5.

      And you wonder why Canadians always treat Newfies as different.

      Incidentally, yes, that province was the source for both dog breeds, and apparently, the names got switched around - what we know as the Labrador Retriever was originally the Newfoundland, and vice-versa. Then again, easier to say a Lab than Newfie, I suppose.

      • And Newfoundland. The Labrador part of the province is at UTC-4, while the Newfoundland half is UTC-3.5.

        And you wonder why Canadians always treat Newfies as different.

        Yup. When the CBC says some show starts at 9:00 local time, there's always a parenthetic "8:30 in Newfoundland."

        I remember seeing a TV sketch long ago (maybe on Wayne and Shuster?) of a guy carrying a sign that said "The world will end at midnight." He turns around and reveals the back of the sign, where it says "11:30 in Newfoundland."

  • Its the best time zone.
  • As a north korean coder this is actually a pretty welcome change. Some people would say its more work, that id have to submit zonedata updates, and that my applications would all have to be recompiled with patches for the new zone but those poeple have never seen the kind of inspiring motivation our leader brings to the team. Ever since I started sharing an office with my new coworker, a loaded 152 mm howitzer, ive been incredibly productive. You know what they say about morale in the office these days t
  • I bet N. Korea will be the first country to permanently offset their phase. It'll be just like what happened to Geordi and Ensign Ro. Only it will be the whole country. Maybe someone will get out and explain how they can pass through walls, but don't fall through the floor.
  • A half-hour off from an international standard, that was supposedly "imposed" upon them specifically by the Japanese? Really? And other then yet another baffling head-shaker of a headline, how exactly do the North Korean people benefit from this change?

    From his incredible over-the-top reaction to "The Interview" forcing an otherwise crappy movie into an international limelight courtesy of the Streisand Effect, to his perpetual posturing on the international stage... to this. Does Kim Jong-un not comprehend

  • You'd think they'd switch to +8:43 or something, just to be different and annoy capitalist IT departments.

  • I though 'North Korea is BEST Korea', but you're letting me down, here! I'd expect you'd come up with your own complete time standard, with a different definition of what hours, minutes, and seconds are, and a different number of hours per day than all of us 'imperialist' countries! Then you could start working on a totally different definition of what a year is! Seriously dude, how are you going to keep your populace totally off-balance and disoriented unless you're continually redefining reality for them?
  • by bbsguru ( 586178 ) on Friday August 07, 2015 @01:28PM (#50270319) Homepage Journal
    OK, I did RTFA, but i still can't find the Real Story.

    Obviously the time offset is way more than 30 minutes.
    Like about 70 years, maybe?

    This will be a burden to the Sysadmins there though: They will have to manually timesync both of their computers.

  • Keep this shit on idle. Nothing Butterball does has any impact on the rest of the world. Stop giving him attention.
  • NK already goes by their own calendar system, based on Il-sung's date of birth, it's only natural that they select their own time zone.

    The funny thing is - even though their calendar is "their own" - it's based on the same gregorian calendar months and days per month, coincidentally their self-selected timezone is also based on the int'l standard. They're essentially trying to say "fuck you we go our own way", KIGTOW? Except they're doing so within the confines of the system already set (or erm.... imposed)

  • In Japan, it's 10:00. in Indonesia, it's 8:00. in Pyongyang, it's 3:42...

  • "What if someone changed their timezone... and none of the OS vendors in the world cooperated by updating their zone files to include the new zone?"

    If no one changes their zone info files, it didn't happen, right?

  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Friday August 07, 2015 @03:02PM (#50270939) Homepage Journal
    You can't just arbitrarily make a new time zone! Er... can you? Wow... I never thought of that... Ok! From this day forward I'm living in Greyfox Standard Time! At the tone, the time will be your output from /dev/random, counted in 64 bit seconds from Midnight Jan 1, 1970. Which henceforth will be the very moment I hit post on this message! Enjoy living in the distant past or future! Experience the excitement of trying to agree when everyone was supposed to get together for the daily standup! Have your alarm clock go off 5 minutes after you set it.... or never! From this day forward, Greyfox Standard Time will be the One True Timezone!
  • Didn't parts of China switch traffic lights so red meant go? I think the idea was red==communism==forward. IIRC, it caused so many problems that they quietly decided the symbolism wasn't that important.

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