Time in South Korea

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Time in South Korea is given by Korea Standard Time (KST; (Hangul한국 표준시; Hanja韓國標準時; RRHanguk pyojunsi) or also known to some as Seoul Time (Hangul: )[1][unreliable source?] is 9 hours ahead of UTC (UTC+09:00): i.e., when it is midnight (00:00) UTC, it is 9 am (09:00) Korea Standard Time. South Korea does not observe daylight saving time, but experimented with it during the 1988 Seoul Olympics.[2][3] Korea Standard Time is the same as Japan Standard Time, Indonesian Eastern Standard Time and Yakutsk Time. North Korea was also on Korea Standard Time, but in August 2015 adopted Pyongyang Standard Time, which is 30 minutes behind.[4]


Before modern clocks were introduced into Korea, Koreans kept time with the help of a sundial during the daylight time and a water clock at night. In 1434, Jang Yeong-sil, a Joseon scientist and astronomer with other scientists, developed Korea's first sundial, Angbu Ilgu (앙부일구/仰釜日晷) and was put into service as standard time-keeper of the kingdom and began the standard time at Hanyang (Seoul) which calculated to UTC+08:28.[5] In 1442, Chiljeongsan, an astronomical calendar system that was created during the reign of King Sejong used Hanyang (Seoul) local time as its standard as it overcame the limitations of previous-made calendars.[6] The Korean Empire adopted a standard time of 8.5 hours ahead of UTC (UTC+08:30) in 1908. In 1912, the Governor-General of Korea changed this from UTC+08:30 to UTC+09:00 to align with Japan Standard Time. In 1954, the South Korean government under President Syngman Rhee reverted the standard time to UTC+08:30. Then in 1961, under the military government of President Park Chung-hee, the standard time was changed back to UTC+09:00 again.[7][8] In 2009, the Presidential administration of Lee Myung-bak tried to reintroduce daylight saving time but failed. It was because that labor organizations objected to the de facto enlarged working hours. It was true the arguments that Korea, whose prime meridian is actually 127˚30′ east longitude not 135˚ east longitude, has adopted daylight saving time by 30 minutes all the year round.

North Korea announced that it would revert its standard time zone to UTC+08:30 on 15 August 2015, which coincides with Liberation Day, and adopt the same standard time as in 1908.[9][10]

IANA time zone database

The IANA time zone database contains one zone for South Korea in the file zone.tab, named Asia/Seoul.


  1. ^ "한국표준시, 대한민국 타임존, GMT UTC 한국시간". Mwultong.blogspot.com. 2007-11-15. Retrieved 2017-01-14. 
  2. ^ "When is Daylight Saving Time worldwide?". Webexhibits.org. Retrieved 2017-01-14. 
  3. ^ "Daylight saving time dates for South Korea – Seoul between 1980 and 1989". 
  4. ^ "North Korea to introduce new timezone this month". BNO News. 7 August 2015. Retrieved 7 August 2015. 
  5. ^ A Bridge between Conceptual Frameworks: Sciences, Society and Technology Studies edited by Raffaele Pisano
  6. ^ Ki-Won Lee; Young Sook Ahn; Byeong-Hee Mihn (2012). "VERIFICATION OF THE CALENDAR DAYS OF THE JOSEON DYNASTY" (PDF). Journal of the Korean Astronomical Society. 45: 85–91. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ "[어제의 오늘]1961년 표준자오선 동경 135도로 변경 - 경향신문". News.khan.co.kr. Retrieved 2017-01-14. 
  9. ^ "North Korea's new time zone to break from 'imperialism'". BBC News. 7 August 2015. Retrieved 7 August 2015. 
  10. ^ "Turning back the clock: North Korea creates Pyongyang Standard Time". Reuters. 2015-08-07. Retrieved 2017-01-14. 

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