The change came a week after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un told South Korean President Moon Jae-in that he wanted to unify the time zones to promote inter-Korean reconciliation and unity.
The decision took effect at 11:30 p.m. Friday, former Pyongyang time.
“Pyongyang time was reset and applied from May 5, according to a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly of the DPRK,” the North’s Korean Central News Agency said in an English dispatch, referring to the country’s parliament. DPRK is the acronym for North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“The time-resetting is the first practical step taken after the historic third north-south summit meeting to speed up the process for the north and the south to become one and turn their different and separated things into the same and single ones,” the report added.
The two leaders met last Friday inside the Demilitarized Zone dividing the Koreas. They agreed to pursue “complete denuclearization” and work toward a peace treaty this year to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War.
North Korea pushed back its standard time by 30 minutes in August 2015, claiming the move was aimed at removing the vestige of Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula. The two Koreas previously used an identical standard time, set in the period. (Yonhap)