To commemorate the 70th anniversary of its liberation from Japanese occupation, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea announced that it would be changing its clocks to “Pyongyang time.” On August 15, North Korea will set its clocks back 30 minutes to the time zone that was standard in Korea before Japanese rule. For a bit of history, in 1912, the Korean peninsula was moved to the same time zone as Japan, its colonizers at the time, nine hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
The announcement from the official KCNA news agency gives the reasoning: “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.”
This time change will have little effect on travel plans for those traveling to and from North Korea. We have confirmed that Air Koryo flights will depart from and arrive to China on their originally scheduled times. The only difference is that flights will arrive to and depart from Pyongyang 30 minutes prior to the previously scheduled times.
Original schedule: JS152 PEK-FNJ on Tuesday 1300 1600
Revised schedule: JS152 PEK-FNJ on Tuesday 1300 1530
Original schedule: JS251 FNJ-PEK on Thursday 1030 1135
Revised schedule: JS251 FNJ-PEK on Thursday 1000 1135
**FNJ = Pyongyang
PEK = Beijing**