North Korea declared today that it will no longer abide by the 1953 armistice agreement that effectively ended the Korean War, and threatened a military response to South Korea’s alliance with the United States. The two nations occupying the Korean peninsula, totalitarian North Korea and democratic South Korea, have been formally at war since 1950, though active fighting has largely been stopped since the United Nations-brokered 1953 armistice agreement. The Korean War was one of the first tests of the United Nations, and remains one of only a few times the body has—in accordance with its charter—used active military intervention in an effort to end a conflict.

This development would be extraordinarily troubling in any time, but is even more so now since the international community has stood by and allowed North Korea to become a nuclear power. North Korea certainly has the technology to stage a nuclear attack on South Korea, and could likely strike Japan, the Philippines, and possibly even Alaska, Hawaii, or the U.S. west coast. If they cannot stage such a strike today, they are absolutely developing the technology to be able to do so in the future. The United Nations cannot stand by inactive any longer, nor can the sovereign nations threatened by Kim Jong Il and his totalitarian government.

We are quickly approaching the point that I, and many others, have warned about for years: a maniacal dictator has been left un-checked so long that he has gained the power to potentially throw the entire world into a new World War. Had we acted early, perhaps we could have stopped him without a full-scale military conflict. Now, it is likely that stopping North Korea will either require a major, deadly, full-scale war . . . or, worse, President Obama (D) and other world leaders will continue the appeasements and inaction that have gone on for decades until North Korea provokes a nuclear conflict with an unimaginable loss of human life.

It is my fervent hope and prayer that this will not become a full-blown military conflict, but with each passing week and month North Korea becomes more dangerous and powerful. Iran is doing the same. Sooner or later military confrontation with one or both will likely become inevitable. Fifty-six years of diplomacy have not worked, and now we are faced with an impossible choice: risk permitting North Korea and Iran to provoke war through our inaction and appeasement as we did with Germany and Japan leading up to World War II, or engage in a full scale military conflict now in hopes that the destruction and loss of life brought by it—horrible as they may be—will be less severe than that which would be brought by the alternative.

It is a worrisome time. We must begin to prepare ourselves for unimaginable death and destruction, even as we pray and hope that it will never come, and even as we continue working to prevent it through diplomacy. There is an old Latin saying, “Si vis pacem, para bellum.” If you seek peace, prepare for war.

Scott Bradford has been building web sites and using them to say what he thinks since 1995, which tended to get him in trouble with power-tripping assistant principals at the time. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from George Mason University, but has spent most of his career (so far) working on public- and private-sector web sites. He is not a member of any political party, and brands himself an ‘independent constitutional conservative.’ In addition to holding down a day job and blogging about challenging subjects like politics, religion, and technology, Scott is also a devout Catholic, gun-owner, bike rider, and music lover with a wife, two cats, and a dog.