I wonder if this has to do with high price of Korean rice. In the past, Korean rice was priced around eight times higher than imported rice. The imports, however, paid a tariff, so the cost to the consumer was equivalent. I don't know if this is still the case.
I might have another post or two before I go, but this issue of pricing has inspired me to do some investigative journalism. Tomorrow, I will go to Canada, with a list of Korean food prices - rice, veggies, ... and compare them to those in Canada. I might do a few other things while I am there. Expect a few posts from 'GeorgianBayBrian' in the next month but I warn you of light blogging ahead.