Time in South Korea

Last updated
Time in South Korea
time zone
Standard World Time Zones.png
World map with the time zone highlighted
UTC offset
KST UTC+09:00
Current time
13:10, 4 February 2021 KST [refresh]
Observance of DST
DST is not observed in this time zone.
Korea Standard Time
한국 표준시
Revised Romanization hanguk pyojunsi
McCune–Reischauer han'guk p'yojunsi

South Korea has one time zone, Korea Standard Time (UTC+09:00), which is abbreviated KST. [1] [2] South Korea currently does not observe daylight saving time, [3] but experimented with it during the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. [4] [5]



In 1434, inventor Jang Yeong-sil developed Korea's first automatic water clock, which King Sejong adapted as Korea's standard timekeeper. It is likely that Koreans used water clocks to keep time prior to this invention, but no concrete records of them exist. [6] In 1437, Jang Yeong-sil, with Jeong Cho, created a bowl-shaped sundial called the angbu ilgu (Hangul: 앙부일구), which King Sejong had placed in public so anyone could use it. [7]

Geographically, the western parts of Korea, including the South Korean capital city, Seoul, is UTC+08:00. In 1908, the Korean Empire adopted a standard time that was 8 12 hours ahead of GMT, UTC+08:30. In 1912, during the Japanese occupation of Korea, the Governor-General of Korea changed standard time to UTC+09:00 to align with Japan Standard Time. However, 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 once again. [8]

In order to accommodate American television viewers, South Korea observed daylight saving time (UTC+10:00) when Seoul hosted the 1988 Summer Olympics. The one-hour time change meant that many daytime events could be broadcast live from South Korea when it was prime time on the U.S. east coast. [4]

North Korea also uses Korea Standard Time. From August 2015 to May 2018, North Korea changed its time zone to UTC+08:30, a time zone known as Pyongyang Standard Time, [9] [10] but the change was reverted to promote Korean unity. [11] [12]

IANA time zone database

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

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Japan Standard Time

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Central European Time Standard time (UTC+01:00)

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UTC+09:00 is an identifier for a time offset from UTC of +09:00.


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Jang Yeong-sil

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Borugak Jagyeongnu

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As of 2017, daylight saving time is used in the following Asian countries:

<i>Jang Yeong-sil</i> (TV series)

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Bak Yeon

Bak Yeon(박연, 朴然) (1378–1458) was a government official, scholar, writer, astronomer, and musician in the early Joseon Dynasty period, who was a teacher of king Sejong and created Armillary sphere Honcheonui, Water clock Borugak Jagyeongnu and sundial Yangbu Ilgu along with Jang Yeong-sil and five basic sounds(Gung, Sang, Gak, Chi, Wu), which corresponds to five consonant groups(Aeum, Seoreum, Suneum, Chieum, Hueum) in Hunminjeongeum. He has also adapted court music to the new Confucian philosophy, particularly in the concept of yeak, a Confucian ideology that combines ritual and music.

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<i>Forbidden Dream</i> South Korean historical drama film

Forbidden Dream is a 2019 South Korean historical drama directed by Hur Jin-ho and written by Jung Bum-shik and Lee Ji-min. Based on a true story, it portrays Sejong the Great, king of the Joseon dynasty of Korea, and his relationship with his greatest scientist, Jang Yeong-sil. It made its international debut at the 2020 New York Asian Film Festival in August 2020.


  1. "표준시" [Standard Time]. Doosan Encyclopedia (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  2. "KST". Geospatial Information System Glossary (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  3. "Current Local Time in South Korea". timeanddate.com.
  4. 1 2 Chad, Norman (1987-01-30). "Live From Seoul, 1988 Olympics Now Are Ready For Prime Time". Washington Post. ISSN   0190-8286 . Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  5. Chappell, Bill (2017-03-29). "The Olympics' TV Time-Delay Is Going Away, NBC Says". National Public Radio. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  6. Pak, Sŏng-nae (2005). Science and Technology in Korean History: Excursions, Innovations, and Issues. Jain Publishing Company. pp. 96–99. ISBN   0895818388.
  7. Park, Changbom (2008). Astronomy: Traditional Korean Science. Ewha Women's University Press. p. 135. ISBN   978-8973007790.
  8. Yu, Jeong-in (2010-08-09). "1961년 표준자오선 동경 135도로 변경" [1961 Standard Meridian Changed to 135 Degrees East]. The Kyunghyang Shinmun. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  9. "North Korea's new time zone to break from 'imperialism'". BBC News. 2015-08-07. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  10. "Turning back the clock: North Korea creates Pyongyang Standard Time". Reuters. 2015-08-07. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  11. Westcott, Ben; Yoonjung, Seo; Watkins, Eli. "North Korea will close main nuclear test site in May, South says". CNN. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  12. "혼란 주던 '30분 시차' 사라진다…서울 표준시로 "통일"" (in Korean). 2018-04-29. Retrieved 2018-04-29.