An interest in diplomacy and military history took one Hamiltonian to the United States to work for the Secretary of Defence. Gary Schofield had attended school at St Paul's Collegiate Hamilton and studied at Otago University before heading to the United Kingdom as a landscape and commission artist. During that time Mr Schofield was asked to the Pentagonto sign two pieces of artwork he had painted. Arriving at the Pentagon for the first time 20 years ago Mr Schofield was approached by a captain of the US Navy.
If there is war there you could have more than 20 million casualties."I was escorted to the office of the Secretary of Defence by a navy captain and it was like in a movie where she said we have found the man we have been looking for," Mr Schofield said. He was signed up as defence contractor, but also created artwork and paintings to be gifted to other countries. Mr Schofield worked through several administrations, including Donald Rumsfeld, who was the Secretary of Defence for George W. Bush from 2000 to 2006. He was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit award in 2016 for services to art and to New Zealand-United States relations. One of the most significant achievements that Mr Schofield was a part of was attempting to improve relations with North Korea under Secretary of Defence William Perry. "In the Clinton administration in 1999 we made an agreement with North Korea which was brokered by Secretary Perry." "They agreed that there would be no nuclear programme and the fuel rods would be taken out of the reactors and there would be international observers. Mr Schofield said that at the time the US was willing to compensate North Korea for their loss, which would end the Korean war. Hostilities between the north and south ended with an armistice agreement in 1953, but the two Koreas are technically still at war. However, the Bush administration in 2001 came to power and destroyed that agreement with North Korea. "They set North Korea on a path in my view they were sort of already on anyway, to where they are now. What was a restrictive agreement on North Korea was lost and that was a sad moment, the repercussions of which we are living with now." Mr Schofield is now concerned at how relations between the US and North Korea have deteriorated rapidly. "If there is war there you could have more than 20 million casualties. "I'm worried that the Donald Trump administration would strike very strongly. "That would cause a reprisal of a non-nuclear strike on Seoul by North Korea." He would like to see the parties involved sit down and talk rather than throw insults at each other. A recent tweet on Donald Trump's Twitter account said "Kim Jong Un of North Korea who is obviously a madman who doesn't mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before". "Sit down and settle it in an afternoon and we can move on and deal with the real problems in the world," Mr Schofield says. "It is now not going the be possible for us to say to North Korea you have to do away with your nuclear weapons because they won't." Mr Schofield wants people to understand that any kind of nuclear exchange will have impacts on the whole world. "If there is a nuclear war the structure of the world will be changed."