If intimidation is classified as an endangering offense (i.e., Gefährdungsdelikt), then it can be considered completed as soon as a notice of threat is received by the intimidated person. This will expand the punishable range of the offense. Moreover, the range of the punishment for the offense must be expanded because current criminal law punishes attempted intimidation. This is not desirable. If it cannot be denied that a punishment brings with it pain that a human being is unable to endure, we should confine punishability to socially unacceptable acts, where punishment cannot be avoided. On this ground, we need to pay attention to the fact that there are few cases of legislation that punish criminal attempts of endangering offenses.
Above all, criminal law, as it stands, stipulates the constituent elements of a concrete endangering offense, stating that one who can be considered guilty of such offense is “(a) person who … causes danger of ….” Thus, while we should confine abstract endangering offenses to behavior offenses, we have to restrain ourselves from regarding a resulting offense as an endangering offense, except that it is not possible to interpret the constituent elements of an abstract endangering offense in another way because if an illegal act is classified as an abstract endangering offense, the range of its punishment will be expanded. The expansion of punishability with interpretation, however, violates the principles of “nulla poena sine lege” and “in dubio pro reo,” and criminal law has the article “causation” in its general part. This means that criminal law works on the principle of punishing a resulting offense or a completing offense, which is premised on causation, except for particular grounds that merit it to be treated differently. Therefore, a crime whose mere attempt is punished can be regarded as a resulting offense or a depriving offense, which has no particular provision in criminal law.
The articles on attempt in criminal law have established that attempted crime must be categorized as a begun attempt, an incomplete attempt, or a voluntary attempt. Criminal law states: “When an intended crime is not completed or if the intended result does not occur, it shall be punishable as an attempted crime”(Article 10, clause 1). Article 26 also stipulates the abandonment of a crime, which could be categorized as passive abandonment to quit the action or active abandonment to prevent the result of the culmination. This proves that attempts can be categorized as begun attempts, incomplete attempts, or voluntary attempts in criminal law. Thus, attempted intimidation, which is punishable, should be categorized as any one of these three attempts as well, except for a reasonable exception.
Although we confirm every sort of attempt, we say that notwithstanding the punishment of the attempted intimidation, although intimidation is classified as an endangering offense, we may on one hand confirm every sort of attempt but on the other recognize a begun attempt absolutely while denying an incomplete attempt and a voluntary attempt. This interpretation is unreasonable in criminal law.
Considering the attribute of intimidation from various points of view, as stated above, it is hard to accept that the majority opinion in the Supreme Court and that of Prof. Jeong, Young-Seok regard or classify intimidation as an endangering offense. On the contrary, it is a reasonable interpretation that intimidation is classified as a depriving offense. Therefore, we should deny the Supreme Court’s interpretation: “… tell to inflict harm … irrelevant that the intimidated person actually feels fear, the intimidation is completed by satisfying the constituent elements, such as the notice of harm.” Instead, intimidation should be classified as a depriving offense and, as such, it is not completed unless a notice of harm is received by the other party. It is completed if the intimidated person feels fear, and in this case, the defendant would be punished for his completed act of intimidation. If not so, to punish the defendant for attempted intimidation is reasonable in light of the current criminal law. For this reason, the minority opinion is more just and valuable than the majority opinion in the Supreme Court.