How ripe and spicy is that kimchi in a jar? The South Korean Ministry of Agriculture has proposed a scale for ranking kimchi spiciness—mild, slightly hot, moderately hot, very hot, and extremely hot. It also includes a three-level scale of "ripeness," depending on the degree of fermentation. Local manufacturers are encouraged to adopt the standards, which are aimed at promoting exports and may fall under regulation in the future.
For the record, I like my kimchi "very hot" and "fermented."