The Korean government will make an official announcement later today on the opening of the country's rice market.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs says the decision will be announced following an economic minister's meeting on Friday.
Ministry officials say the government has long been expected to liberalize the market, a move that would eventually help protect the country's rice industry.
Local farmers are strongly against the idea as they see it as a threat to their livelihoods.
However, the government claims it can effectively protect the local market by setting high tariffs of around 400 percent.
This will make rice imports more expensive than locally produced grains.
Korea's agricultural organizations have vowed to protest against any opening of the rice market.
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