The Korean government is opening up the country's rice market starting next year.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs says 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 the move.
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