Civic groups that advocated for Byun welcomed the ruling, as they had claimed that the relationship between having gender-reassignment surgery and the health status required for military service was unclear.
In December, the National Human Rights Commission of Korea also recommended the Army reverse its decision to discharge Byun as it infringed on her human rights. "The Army arbitrarily interpreted the person who received gender-reassignment surgery as a person with a mental and physical disability with no clear legal basis," the commission said at the time.
It also said there was no reason to believe that Byun's health was "unsuitable for active duty service."
The Daejeon court also said in its ruling that whether a male service member who changes sex to female would be fit for military duty as a female member should be decided through legislation and state policy by considering various factors, such as the nation's defense situation, sexual minorities' human rights and public opinion.