North Korea now wants to turn back time by a half of hour. The government announced on Friday that it would create its own time zone — “Pyongyang time” — and set its clocks 30 minutes behind those of South Korea and Japan.

The current time on the peninsula — nine hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time — was set by Japan. North Korean public pronouncements can be as virulently anti-Japanese as they are anti-American, so it was natural that the clock change would be billed as throwing off a hated vestige of colonial domination.

South Korea has its own historical grudges with Japan, but the time of day is not one of them. Jeong Joon-hee, a spokesman for the Unification Ministry in the South, said the time change in the North would probably create only minor communication problems.

The Japanese government offered no response to the North’s announcement, but the Japanese news media pounced on the news, including Pyongyang’s accusation that Japan “stole Korea’s time.”

The change is set for Aug. 15, the 70th anniversary of Japan's defeat in World War II, which freed the Korean Peninsula from Japanese rule.

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