University News

National Security Professor Tells TIME: President Trump’s Claim about North Korea ‘Categorically False’

Professor Matthew Schmidt, a University of New Haven associate professor of national security and political science who is an expert on U.S. military issues, spoke to TIME magazine about President Trump’s State of the Union declaration about North Korea.

February 6, 2019

By Dave Cranshaw, Office of Marketing & Communications

Photo of Matthew Schmidt, Ph.D.
Matthew Schmidt, Ph.D.

In an interview with TIME magazine shortly after the State of the Union, Matthew Schmidt, a University of New Haven associate professor of national security and political science, called categorically false President Trump’s assertion that if he was not elected president, the United States would be in a war with North Korea.

“It’s extreme myopia to think that your own administration can claim that kind of credit,” he told TIME. “Most importantly, is that Trump simply writes South Korea out of this story. The work of the government in Seoul in averting war, and in setting up Trump’s meeting with Kim, is the real driver of peace in the peninsula.”

A former instructor of strategic and operational planning at the U.S. Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies, he was part of the core team on the Project on National Security Reform, an initiative sponsored by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates that recommended major reforms to the U.S. intelligence and national security community after 9/11.

"The work of the government in Seoul in averting war, and in setting up Trump’s meeting with Kim, is the real driver of peace in the peninsula.”Matthew Schmidt, Ph.D.

The author of four books, Schmidt is expert on U.S. foreign policy in North Korea and the coordinator of the University’s bachelor’s degree in international development and diplomacy.

He spoke previously to TIME – following President Trump’s declaration that North Korea no longer poses a nuclear threat – about the system in which intelligence officials determine global threats. He said North Korea, despite agreeing to close some testing sites, still maintains a strong weapons capability.

“As every credible analyst will tell you, the reason is because the Kim regime has no power in the international realm,” Schmidt told TIME. “Kim himself has no respect in the international realm without the nuclear program. There’s almost no chance that the North Korean regime is going to give up its weapons program, that it’s going to give up the one thing that gives it leverage on the Korean peninsula, or in the world.”

"Dr. Schmidt meets with me and other graduate and undergraduate students all day, every day. There is probably no one else at the University who shares as much of his personal time with his students.”David Berghel ’19 M.S.

In December, Schmidt received the University’s Bucknall Excellence in Teaching Award, one of its most esteemed honors.

"He is one of the most caring and compassionate educators around,” said David Berghel ’19 M.S., one of Schmidt’s students. "Dr. Schmidt meets with me and other graduate and undergraduate students all day, every day. There is probably no one else at the University who shares as much of his personal time with his students.”