The Army will make a decision Wednesday on whether to allow a noncommissioned officer who underwent sex reassignment surgery to continue to serve in the military, officials said.
The decision on the unprecedented case is expected to have ripple effects on the overall rights of transgender South Koreans.
Late last year, the Army officer underwent transition surgery in Thailand while on furlough. After an examination, a military medical team declared the officer "a handicapped person," which requires a committee's decision on whether to discharge her or not.
Currently, no regulations on such cases exist. The officer has expressed a desire to continue to serve in the military as a female soldier.
On Tuesday, the National Human Rights Commission of Korea advised the Army chief to delay holding the committee meeting, citing the possibility of discrimination, but the Army decided to do it as scheduled, with the results to be available later in the day.
"A session on the discharge decision is supposed to be held after a medical examination in accordance with regulations," an Army officer said.