We begin with the government′s announcement to set the tariff rate for imported rice.
This comes not long after the country′s farmers protested the government′s decision to open up the rice market starting next year.
Ji Myung-kil has our top story.
The Korean government has set its tariff on rice imports at 513 percent.
The agriculture ministry said the high tariff will help protect Korea′s rice industry as imported rice will be more expensive.
"We have prepared measures such as stabilizing the income of rice farmers, modernizing the rice farming industry and promoting the consumption of rice."
Lawmakers from the ruling Saenuri Party also said imposing high tariffs was the only answer to help locally produced rice compete with the influx of imported rice on the market.
The move comes as the country is set to liberalize its rice market from next year.
However, farmers and civic groups oppose the move,... saying it will hurt their livelihoods and the local rice market.
"The government unilaterally declared the tariff rate without even discussing it with the farmers or the public. The whole process was done in secret."
The ministry said the proposed tariff rate will be submitted to the World Trade Organization before the end of this month.
If the rate is confirmed by the WTO, the proposed tariff will go into effect on January 1st of 2015.
However, it could be months until the process is finalized,... while the WTO assesses whether the tariff rate proposed by Korea is appropriate.
Korea had been allowed to delay the opening of its rice market under a WTO quota agreement in 1993, in exchange for gradually increasing its mandatory import quota, which reached more than 400-thousand tons this year.
The agreement with the WTO requires Korea to continue importing the mandatory quota even after the market is opened next year at a 5 percent tariff rate.
"The government could not afford to further postpone the opening of the rice market nor had a reason to do so... as the country′s rice consumption continues to drop.
Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News."