South Korea's first transgender soldier said Wednesday she would sue the military after it announced it would dismiss her for undergoing gender reassignment surgery last year.

Byun Hui-su, who holds the rank of staff sergeant and is stationed in Gyeonggi Province, north of Seoul, had the operation in Thailand last year while on leave, and had expressed hope of continuing to serve in the female corps.

In her first public appearance since her case was publicized last week, Byun said she would pursue a lawsuit against the army, all the way to the country's highest court if necessary.