South Korea has seen an increasing amount of transsexuals applying for gender reassignment since a landmark case allowed a transgender male to be legally recognised earlier this year.

The Supreme Court announced that 17 transsexuals have applied to have their gender registered on legal records since the ruling last June.

The country’s highest court ruled that reassignment should be granted after counselling if the person feels physical disorientated about their sex.

Prior to the ruling there were 30 applications, bringing this year’s total to 47, compared to 28 in 2005 and 22 in 2004.

A court official told the Korea Times “The increasing permission on gender switch at local courts reflects their recognition that transsexuals have the right to enjoy human dignity and respect and pursue happiness.”

There are believed to be 30,000 transsexuals in the nation, the paper reports.