Friday, August 7, 2015

Timey Wimey

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea, AKA that big unlit spot in between South Korea and China that starves its own people, has decided to reset its clocks to a time zone it used prior to Japanese invasion in the early 20th century.

On Aug. 15, the 70th anniversary of the nation's liberation from Japan in World War II, North Korea will turn its clocks back 30 minutes to be at Greenwich Mean Time +8:30. One might think that this would not involve much work, given the level of technology North Korea currently enjoys, as there would be fewer clocks than in more advanced nations. But considering that a significant percentage of DPRK clocks probably are hand-wound, it'll probably even out.

The CNN story notes that North Korea already uses its own calendar, dating from the birth of founding dictator Kim Il Sung in 1912 and calling that year one. The Korean word translated "year" is Juche, so we are actually in Juche 104. Again, while you might think that this would create some confusion, much of North Korea lives like large parts of the world did in AD 104, so the gap is not as wide as it could be.

As for freedom from the cult of personality surrounding said founder, his son and now grandson, well, that's not yet on the calendar even though it'll probably get here someday.

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