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TAEGU, South Korea — Gas prices at bases in South Korea shot up 12 cents per gallon April 1.

For the third month in a row, AAFES has hiked gas prices at the pumps in South Korea to bring them in line with average stateside prices, officials announced Monday.

Beginning Tuesday, gas at military installations cost 12 cents more a gallon, up about 7 percent from the March 1 rate. Unleaded is $1.76; premium is $1.94; and diesel is $1.79.

The Army and Air Force Exchange Service pegs its gas prices to the Department of Energy’s four-week average for stateside gasoline prices in the previous month, said Air Force Master Sgt. Howard Smith, an AAFES Pacific Region spokesman.

Oil prices have continued to spike worldwide amid tensions over the war in Iraq, among other international conflicts. According to the Reuters news agency, oil prices rose 2 percent last Thursday alone, driven by the Iraq conflict as well as tribal clashes affecting production in oil-rich Nigeria.

At an off-post LG gas station in the Namdaemun section of Seoul on Monday, unleaded was $4.19 a gallon, diesel $2.55 per gallon, and kerosene $1.10 per gallon.

South Korea wasn’t the only duty station to see an April gas price rise.

In Europe, prices are up about 12 cents a gallon at most AAFES locations.

In Germany, for example, a gallon of super plus grade will cost more than $2.

At Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan, a gallon of regular unleaded costs $1.42.

In March, prices were up in South Korea about 13 cents per gallon, or about 8 percent over February’s levels. Unleaded went from $1.50 in February to $1.64 in March, up 14 cents; premium went from $1.69 in February to $1.82, up 13 cents; diesel rose from $1.54 in February to $1.67, up 13 cents.

Those increases contrasted with January’s South Korea prices, which dipped nearly 3 percent from December. Unleaded went from $1.48 to $1.42, down eight cents; premium went from December’s $1.66 to $1.62 in January, down four cents, and diesel from $1.48 to $1.47, down one cent.

Ward Sanderson and Choe Song-won contributed to this report.


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