North Korea slammed President Park Geun-hye Wednesday for condemning the North's decision to push back its standard time by 30 minutes, saying that her remarks are "unpardonable."
Park expressed deep regret Monday over Pyongyang's unilateral move to push its clocks back a half-hour starting Liberation Day, which falls on Saturday. The North claimed that the move is aimed at removing what it called the vestige of Japan's colonial rule.
Currently, the two Koreas use identical standard time, set under Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.
The North blamed Park for commenting on its decision, saying that what she said is an "unpardonable and politically motivated provocation."
"All countries have their own standard time. It is the universally accepted practice in the world for each country to fix its own standard time as it is a matter pertaining to the sovereignty of an independent country," said a spokesman for the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea.
North Korea claimed its decision to fix the new standard time reflects its "firm faith and will" to make Japan pay for what North Korea called its "hideous crimes."
The Unification Ministry has said that the North's move is feared to deepen differences between the two Koreas and to run counter to efforts to promote inter-Korean cooperation and prepare for a peaceful unification.
The time differences could cause some logistical problems, such as the timetables at a joint industrial park in the North Korean city of Kaesong.
Seoul said that South Korea's choice of the present time zone is based on practical benefits, such as daylight savings, rather than colonial history. (Yonhap)