Despite their geographical proximity, North and South Korea could not be further apart ideologically and politically. But, following decades of tensions between the two countries, peace and unity are beginning to look like a possibility.
In recent months, North Korea leader Kim Jong-Un has met with his South Korean counterpart, President Moon Jae-in, in gesturing towards a united Korean Peninsula. The two countries entered the Olympic ceremony under a united Korean Peninsula flag.
Another significant measure was just implemented by North Korea to boost unity in that they changed their official time zone to match that of their southern neighbor.
Check it out, per ABC News:
North Korea readjusted its time zone to match South Korea’s on Saturday and described the change as an early step toward making the longtime rivals “become one” following a landmark summit.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un promised to sync his country’s time zone with the South’s during his April 27 talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. A dispatch from the North’s Korean Central News Agency says that promise was fulfilled Saturday by a decree of the nation’s Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly.
The Koreas used the same time zone for decades before the North in 2015 created its own “Pyongyang Time” by setting its clocks 30 minutes behind South Korea and Japan. It said at the time that it did so to root out the legacy of Tokyo’s 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula, when clocks in Korea were changed to be the same as in Japan.
Here’s more, per Associated Press:
“Pyongyang Time” was created as tensions between the authoritarian country and the U.S. grew over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program and international sanctions aimed at dismantling it. But in recent months relations between the Koreas have warmed dramatically, with Kim and Moon pledging at their summit to rid their peninsula of nuclear weapons.
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The meeting produced many steps toward reconciliation, including an agreement to resume reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, though it lacked a breakthrough in the nuclear standoff. Those details await Kim and President Donald Trump, who are expected to meet in the coming weeks.
KCNA earlier said Kim proposed returning North Korea to the South’s time zone because it was “a painful wrench to see two clocks indicating Pyongyang and Seoul times hanging on a wall of the summit venue.”
The synchronization move of the time zones was applauded as “the first practical step” amid the ongoing peace talks “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 time sync also prepares the Korean officials for an upcoming meeting with President Trump. It is also being rumored that Jong-Un may be releasing three U.S. hostages ahead of the planned summit.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 4, 2018
Also ahead of the highly anticipated meeting with President Trump and the North Korean leader, Trump will host the South Korean president. Per Fox News:
The White House announced Friday that President Trump will host the South Korean president in late May, as plans progress for a meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Trump and President Moon Jae-in will meet on May 22, the press release from Press Secretary Sarah Sanders’ office said, marking the third summit for the pair.
The meeting “affirms the enduring strength” of the “alliance and deep friendship between our two countries,” the press release said.
It went on to say that the two leaders would “continue their close coordination of developments regarding the Korean Peninsula following the April 27 inter-Korean Summit,” referring to the recent historic meeting of North and South Korean leaders.