Farmer Kang Han-sung, 65, beamed with a smile of satisfaction, while checking with his tanned hands the ripening rice grains of the plants in his paddy, stretching far into the distance in Seoul’s northwest Ogok-dong, Gangseo District. “Japanese rice varieties will be disappearing soon, as local Korean rice brands will replace them sooner or later,” he said Thursday, pointing to the plants in his rice paddies. “I mean, the quality of Korean rice has been getting better, and some strains are as good as the preferred Japanese rice, so in the near future, farmers will seriously consider planting premium varieties of Korean rice.”

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