* This translated version is originated from Ministry of Justice and for reference only.
Article 8.- Definition of crime
1. A crime is an act dangerous to the society prescribed in the Penal Code, committed intentionally or unintentionally by a person having the penal liability capacity, infringing upon the independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of the Fatherland, infringing upon the political regime, the economic regime, culture, defense, security, social order and safety, the legitimate rights and interests of organizations, infringing upon the life, health, honor, dignity, freedom, property, as well as other legitimate rights and interests of citizens, and infringing upon other socialist legislation.
2. Based on the nature and extent of danger to the society of acts prescribed in this Code, crimes are classified into less serious crimes, serious crimes, very serious crimes and particularly serious crimes,
3. Less serious crimes are crimes which cause no great harm to society and the maximum penalty bracket for such crimes is three years of imprisonment; serious crimes are crimes which cause great harm to society and the maximum penalty bracket for such crimes is seven years of imprisonment; very serious crimes are crimes which cause very great harm to society and the maximum penalty bracket for such crimes is fifteen years of imprisonment; particularly serious crimes are crimes which cause exceptionally great harms to society and the maximum penalty bracket for such crimes shall be over fifteen years of imprisonment, life imprisonment or capital punishment.
4. Acts showing signs of crime but which pose minimal danger to society are not crimes and shall be handled by other measures.
Article 9.- Intentional commission of crimes
The intentional commission of a crime is commission of crime in the following circumstances:
1. The offenders are aware that their acts are dangerous to society, foresee the consequences of such acts and wish such consequences to occur;
2. The offenders are aware that their acts are dangerous to society, foresee the consequences that such acts may entail and do not wish, but consciously allow, such consequences to occur.
Article 10.- Unintentional commission of crimes
The unintentional commission of a crime is commission of crime in the following circumstances:
1. The offenders foresee that their acts may cause harmful consequences to society, but think that such consequences shall not occur or can be warded off;
2. The offenders do not foresee that their acts may cause harmful consequences to the society though they must have foreseen or did foresee such consequences.
Article 11.- Unexpected events
Persons who commit acts which cause harmful consequences to the society due to unexpected events, namely in circumstances which they cannot, or are not compelled to, foresee the consequences of such acts, shall not have to bear penal liability therefor.
Article 12.- Ages subject to penal liability
1. Persons aged full 16 or older shall have to bear penal liability for all crimes they commit.
2. Persons aged full 14 or older but under 16 shall have to bear penal liability for very serious crimes intentionally committed or particularly serious crimes.
Article 13.- The state of having no penal liability capacity
1. Persons who commit acts dangerous to the society while suffering from mental disease or disease which deprives them of their capability to be aware of or to control their acts, shall not have to bear penal liability therefore; to these persons, the measure of enforced hospitalization shall apply.
2. Persons who commit crimes while having penal liability but falling into the state prescribed in Clause 1, of this Article, before being sentenced, shall be subjected to enforced hospitalization. After recovering from the illness, such persons may bear penal liability.
Article 14.- Committing crimes while in the state of being intoxicated due to the use of alcohol or other strong stimulants
Persons who commit crimes while in the state of being intoxicated due to the use of alcohol or other strong stimulants shall still bear penal liability therefor.
Article 15.- Legitimate defense
1. Legitimate defense is an act of persons who, for the purpose of protecting the interests of the State and/or organizations, as well as the legitimate rights and interests of their own or other persons, need to fight against persons who are committing acts infringing upon the interests of the above-mentioned.
Legitimate defense is not a crime.
2. Acting beyond the prescribed legitimate defense limit is the act of fighting back in a manner incompatible with the nature and the extent of danger posed to the society by the act of infringement.
Persons who act beyond the limit of legitimate defense shall bear penal liability therefore.
Article 16.- Urgent circumstances
1. The urgent circumstance is the circumstance in which persons who, because of wanting to ward off a danger practically jeopardizing the interests of the State and/or organizations, the legitimate rights and interests of their own or other persons and having no other alternatives, have to cause damage smaller than the damage to be warded off.
Acts causing damage in urgent circumstances are not crimes.
2. Where the damage caused is obviously beyond the requirement of the urgent circumstance, the persons who cause such damage shall bear penal liability therefor.
Article 17.- Preparation for crime commission
Preparation for crime commission is to search for, prepare instruments or create other conditions for committing crimes.
Persons who prepare for the commission of a very serious crime or a particularly serious crime shall bear penal liability for their attempted crime.
Article 18.- Incompleted commission of a crime
Incompleted commission of a crime is an intentional commission of a crime which cannot be carried out to the end due to causes beyond the control of the offender.
Persons who commit incompleted crimes shall bear penal liability therefore.
Article 19.- Voluntary termination of unfinished crimes
To voluntarily terminate the commission of a crime is to refuse at one’s own will to carry out a crime to the end though nothing stands in the way.
A person who voluntarily terminates the commission of a crime shall be exempt from penal liability for the attempted crime; if the act actually committed fully consists of elements of another crime, such person shall bear penal liability for such crime.
Article 20.- Complicity
1. Complicity is where two or more persons intentionally commit a crime.
2. The organizers, executors, instigators and helpers are all accomplices.
The executors are those who actually carry out the crimes.
The organizers are those who mastermind, lead and direct the execution of crimes.
The instigators are those who incite, induce and encourage other persons to commit crimes.
The helpers are those who create spiritual or material conditions for the commission of crimes.
3. The organized commission of a crime is a form of complicity with close collusion among persons who jointly commit the crime.
Article 21.- Concealment of crimes
Any person who, though having not earlier promised anything, knows a crime has been committed and conceals the offender, traces and/or exhibits of the crime or commits the act of obstructing the detection, investigation and/or handling of the offender, shall bear penal liability for the concealment of crime as provided for by this Code.
Article 22.- Non-denunciation of crimes
1. Any person who knows a crime is being prepared, carried out or has been completed but fails to denounce it shall bear penal liability for having failed to denounce it as provided for in Article 313 of this Code.
2. The grand-father, grand-mother, father, mother, offspring, grandchild, sibling, wife or husband of an offender, who fails to denounce the latter’s crime, shall bear penal liability only in cases of failing to denounce crimes against national security or particularly serious crimes prescribed in Article 313 of this Code.