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(LEAD) Lee calls for all-out efforts to curb surging commodity prices
By Lee Chi-dong
SEOUL, Oct. 12 (Yonhap) -- President Lee Myung-bak instructed the government Tuesday to take preemptive measures to block commodity prices at domestic markets from rising higher than international prices.

South Korea has been struggling to fight hikes in the prices of vegetables and other basic commodities. Amid skyrocketing prices for napa cabbage, the main ingredient of kimchi, due to an unusually long stretch of bad weather and poor harvest, the government has slashed tariffs on Chinese cabbage in an emergency step. Kimchi, a spicy fermented side dish, is eaten with almost all Korean meals.
"There is no reason for seomin (low-income people) to purchase items inevitable to daily life at higher prices than international prices," Lee said in a Cabinet meeting, according to his spokeswoman Kim Hee-jung.