ROK Army kicks out transgender after surgery for being a “person with a disability”
Seoul (dpa) – A transgender woman who started her military service in South Korea as a man has been dismissed after an army examination board argued on Wednesday that her recent sex change was grounds for dismissal.
A military medical team had previously classified the woman as a “person with a disability.”
The case is so far unique in the East Asian country and has therefore attracted much attention.
South Korea prohibits transgender people from serving in the military, but there are no specific rules for dealing with people who undergo a gender reassignment operation while in the military.
The soldier, who is in her 20s, had undergone the surgery while on a holiday in Thailand in November. She had wanted to remain in the armed forces. She is currently still in a military hospital.
The National Human Rights Commission recommended on Tuesday that the head of the army postpone the meeting of the board because of possible discrimination and the impact on the rights of the soldier.
The decision to dismiss the soldier was made in accordance with the relevant regulations, including the Military Personnel Act, and on the basis of a medical examination, the army said.
Efforts would continue to “protect the human rights of military personnel and prevent any undue discrimination.”
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