SEOUL, Nov. 13 (Yonhap) -- The Ministry of National Defense recently canceled a decision to discipline and discharge a former military judicial officer from the Army for petitioning against the military's ban on "seditious books," according to the Anti-Corruption & Civil Rights Commission on Tuesday.
The ministry's disciplinary punishment for the former officer was canceled on Oct. 24 and his forced discharge was nullified on Oct. 31, said the civil rights watchdog.
The case dates back to July 2008 when the ministry banned service members from reading 23 books, including "Bad Samaritans" written by Chang Ha-joon, a professor of economics, which it then considered "subversive" due to pro-North Korean and anti-government content.
The former military judicial officer and six others filed a petition with the Constitutional Court in October of the same year, arguing that the ban violates the service members' right to pursue happiness.
The defense ministry then dismissed two of the plaintiffs, including the judicial officer, for violating their duty of submission and a ban on collective action, and took disciplinary actions against five others.
The two were reinstated in 2011 through court rulings but were forcibly discharged from the Army the following year.
The civil rights commission said it asked the defense ministry to cancel the disciplinary punishment and forced discharge for the former judicial office and the ministry complied.
(News Focus) Termination of military pact with Japan raises concerns over S. Korea-U.S. alliance
Another new missile highlights N.K.'s focus on conventional weapons amid nuclear talks
Trump's pressure on S. Korea raises concern about U.S. interests, alliance
Latest test indicates N. Korea's successful development of new ballistic missile: experts
Seoul-Tokyo ties tipped for deeper rift after Japan's expanded export control: experts