Note: I'm using elements of the recorded attacks in the Zombie Survival Guide along with some fanfic elements to construct this overview timeline of Max Brook's zombie universe.

August 9, 1945: The Red Army invades Manchuria and Korea after declaring war on Japan in the final stages of World War II. The NKVD manages to get their hands on the secret documents of Project Cherry Blossom, which details about Japan's secret biological weapons program that planned to utilize zombies in warfare.

Bet. 1945-1960: The USSR uses these documents for their own version of Cherry Blossom which they plan to use zombies against NATO and the West in an event of a World War III.

1968: George Romero releases Night of the Living Dead. It becomes a hit, and a decade later, Romero would release Dawn of the Dead as its sequel in 1978 and Day of the Dead in 1985.

Bet. 1960s-1980s: The People's Republic of China also begins their version of Cherry Blossom from data shared by the Soviets prior to the Sino-Soviet split. Under Mao Zedong, China begins planning the use of zombies as a final revenge weapons to the USSR and the West. After Mao's death in 1976, Deng Xiaoping takes over and opens up China to the West, thereby relieving tensions and closely cooperating with the United States to contain the USSR. China also gets its first functioning nuclear power plant with cooperation from the West. In 1987, a U.S. spy satellite manages to see a group of PLA tanks and soldiers fire upon a mass of unarmed civilians trying to attack the powerplant. Because this was the period where cooperation with the U.S. was high (including the joint CIA-PLA spying stations in Xinjiang), the incident is hushed up.

1970s-1980s: The slasher movie craze ends up dominating the zombie genre.

June 4, 1989: The People's Liberation Army crushes the pro-democracy student demonstration in Tiananmen Square. The U.S. and the European Economic Community places an arms embargo on China.

August 2, 1990: The Gulf War begins.

October 19, 1990: The remake of Night of the Living Dead directed by Tom Savini (Romero's make-up artists for actors playing as zombies) is released. However, the film flops due to the ongoing slasher movie craze. The zombie genre would even stagnate more in the 1990s.[1]

December 25, 1991: The USSR dissolves.

1992: During the Los Angeles riots, a zombie attack in Watts in repelled by rival gangs. Unfortunately, the ones involved would face life-imprisonment for the "murder of homeless individuals". The incident is covered-up by the LAPD.

1996: The zombie games Resident Evil by Capcom and The House of the Dead by SEGA are poorly received. This causes zombies to be swept aside from the horror genre. While zombie games would be produced in the 21st century, they are not taking off well.[1]

1998: India and Pakistan test nuclear weapons.

December 19, 2000: Al Gore (D-TN) concedes to George W. Bush (R-TX) after the Supreme Court trashes the recount case.

January 1, 2000: The arrival of the New Millennium. There were fears of the Y2K bug and the arrival of the 21st Century would spark another end-times event.

September 11, 2001: The 9/11 attacks occur in the United States. The War on Terror begins by October, culminating in the invasion of Afghanistan.

2002: The last known zombie attack prior to World War Z is recorded in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

2002-2003: SARS outbreak in China.

March 17, 2003: The U.S. invades Iraq for the hunt of Saddam Hussein's alleged WMDs as well as dispose of the Iraqi dictator. The occupation of Iraq begins afterwards.

November 3, 2004: George W. Bush (R-TX) is reelected, defeating Democrat candidate John Kerry (D-MA).

December 26, 2004: The giant earthquake strikes the Indian Ocean, bringing tsunamis that hit Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Yemen, the Maldives, and East Africa.

August 2005: Hurricane Katrina hits the Gulf Coast of the United States. The city of New Orleans is submerged.

October 9, 2006: North Korea tests its first nuclear weapon.

February 10, 2007: A certain young senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, announces the he would run for President in the 2008 elections. Obama wins the primaries as the DNC candidates.

2007-2008: The great recession occurs.

November 4, 2008: John McCain (R-AZ) defeats Barack Obama (D-IL) in the 2008 elections.[2]

January 20, 2009: John McCain, and his Vice President, Colin Powell is inaugurated as the President and the Vice President respectively.[3]

April 2009: H1N1 Swine Flu appears in Mexico and infects others in North America. It becomes a pandemic in 2009 before eventually weakening in August 2010.

May 25, 2009: North Korea conducts its second nuclear test.

January 12, 2010: A big earthquake strikes Haiti.

July 6, 2010: Iran successfully tests it's first nuclear weapon.[Edit note 1]

December 17, 2010: The Arab Spring occurs in the Middle East after a protester self-immolates in Tunisia.

January 31, 2011: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigns.

March 11, 2011: A big earthquake and tsunami hits Japan.

March 15, 2011: The Syrian Civil War erupts.

March 19, 2011: NATO enacts a no-fly zone over Libya.

May 1, 2011: Osama bin-Laden is killed in a U.S. Navy SEAL raid in Pakistan.

October 20, 2011: Muammar Gaddafi is killed by Libyan rebels.

December 17, 2011: The U.S. withdraws from Iraq. Post-American withdrawal violence follows afterwards. On the same day, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il dies and is succeeded by his son Kim Jong-un.

January 13, 2012: The passenger cruise ship Costa Concordia runs aground off the coast of Italy, causing 32 deaths.

March 5, 2012: The documentary KONY 2012 airs on YouTube.

March 15, 2012: Communist party chief of Chongqing Bo Xilai, well known for his neo-Maoist leanings and policies, is removed from his post after a large scandal involving the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood and an incident involving the Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun.

April 8, 2012: The Philippine Navy stands-off with China Marine Surveillance vessels in the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. The McCain administration honors the MDT with the Philippines, and sends U.S. Navy warships to deter the Chinese. After a week, the Chinese back down.

April 12, 2012: On the 100th anniversary of the Eternal President Kim Il-Sung, North Korea attempts to launch Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3 observation satellite into space. The rocket fails on launch, with the debris landing northeast of the Philippines.

May 1, 2012: The McCain administration proposes for a no-fly zone over Syria, which Democrats in Congress block.

May 26, 2012: Miami Zombie Attack (a.k.a. "Causeway Cannibal") Police officials report a violent cannibal attack in Miami, Florida; initially blamed on the presence of bath salts in the bloodstream. Medical officials would later attribute the virus to the Solanum virus. [Edit note-2]

May 22, 2012: The Tokyo Skytree, the tallest building in the Japanese capital, opens.

June 30, 2012: Mohammed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, is elected as the 5th President of Egypt.

July 3, 2012: Wenzhou Incident; Police and military officials report attacks by "jiangshi" (demonic spirits) in Wenzhou, sparking calls for an immediate crackdown by President Hu Jintao.

July 20, 2012: Mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. 12 people are killed and 58 others injured.

July 27-August 12, 2012: The London Summer Olympics is held.

August 2012: First reports of "masses of violence" in rural China. The PLA and MSS is sent to cover up incidents. It is widely believed one of these is the first cases of the Solanum Virus noted by Dr. Kwang Jingshu. He would later be arrested for "spreading misinformation" by the MSS but later released in November, only to realize that the virus has now spread to Central Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa, and Latin America.[4]

September 2012: China, Japan, and Taiwan confront each other over the Senkaku Islands (Chinese: Diayou Islands) in the East China Sea. Sino-Japanese relations deteriorate as Anti-Japanese protests occur in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Japanese business are targeted by angry mobs while large demonstrations are held in the Japanese Embassy in Beijing. Western intelligence operatives note that the CCP is using these anti-Japanese protests to distract the world as it covers up localized outbreaks of the Solanum Virus.[5]

September 25, 2012: Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning (002; formerly the Riga then Varyag) is commissioned in service with the PLA-N. She is China's first aircraft carrier.

October 2012: The Fourth Taiwan Strait Crisis occurs as China sends bombers and fighter jets in Taiwan's ADIZ. A series of war games and missile tests occur in Fujian province.[6]

October 10, 2012: Tensions mount throughout China, as reports of "jiangshi" (demonic spirits) attacks in the subway system of Guangzhou are posted on the Internet, shattering the Chinese government line that the situation is "under control".

October 15, 2012: First news of African Rabies is reported. Breckendrige Scott, a CEO of a big pharmaceutical company, announces his team will develop a vaccine for it within a few months time. In response to the acknowledgement of the existence of zombies from the CIA, DIA, NSA, MI6, and the DGSE, the U.S. Department of Defense and the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defense plans covert missions meant to terminate outbreaks while the military mobilizes. Dubbed as "Alpha Teams" which comprised of Tier-1 operators (DEVGRU, ISA, SFOD-D, Green Berets, and MARSOC), the United States launches Operation Midnight Arrow. Their allies across the Atlantic launch their own, called Operation Stoneferry, which aims at eradicating outbreaks within Commonwealth countries.[7]

October 16, 2012: Canada secretly launches Operation Archer in close coordination with the U.S. and the United Kingdom.

November 6, 2012: John McCain is reelected as the President of the United States, defeating Hillary Clinton (D-NY).

November 15, 2012: Xi Jinping is elected by the National People's Congress to be the next General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party.

December 21, 2012: Fears of the Mayan Doomsday are proven false.

January 20, 2013: John McCain is re-inaugurated as the President of the United States.

February 10, 2013: The first vaccine against the African Rabies, called Phalanx, is developed. Clinical tests against rabies proved successful. It is then approved by the FDA. Mass vaccination occurs within the United States and around the world. Unfortunately, the vaccine only worked against ordinary rabies and not the Solanum Virus, which causes many small-time outbreaks that were put-down by SOCOM and local law-enforcement agencies.

February 12, 2013: North Korea conducts its third nuclear test.

February 15, 2013: A meteor hits near the town of Chelyabinsk, Russia. While no deaths are reported, over 1,000 people are injured. Over the course of World War Z, there are conspiracy theories that the Chelyabinsk meteor is responsible for the bringing the Solanum Virus to earth. These were proven false as there is no way for viruses to survive the heat as the meteor entered the Earth's atmosphere.[8]

March 13, 2013: Jorge Mario Bergoglio is appointed as the next Pope. He goes under the name of Francis.

March 14, 2013: Xi Jinping assumes office as the next President of the People's Republic of China.

April 15, 2013: The Boston marathon bombing occurs, which leads to a four-day manhunt for the perpetuators. One of the bombers is killed after being accidentally ran over by his brother while the other was captured after being discovered hiding in a boat in Watertown, MA. The manhunt was described as heroic, but would soon be overshadowed by the Great Panic a month later.

April 24, 2013: Amy Cooper, a reporter for Fox News, breaks the story that Phalanx does not protect against the Solanum Virus. This leads to the Great Panic. [9]

Spring 2013 (April-June 2013): The Great Panic grips the world. Fearing arrest, Scott Breckenridge flees the United States, stopping first in Honduras and Paraguay before hitching a boat to the Russian research station in Antartica, where he would hide for the next decade to come. In the midst of the chaos, the terror group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant makes significant gains in the Middle East.

August 2013: The Battle of Yonkers. [10]

September 2013: The Iran-Pakistan nuclear conflict occurs after a series of miscommunications on both sides. [Edit note-3]

Late 2013 to 2014: The West Coast safe zone is established east of the Rocky Mountains and the Continental Divide after it took time to clear zombies within the area. Somewhere along the way, President McCain suffers a stroke. The 25th Amendment is invoked, thereby making Vice President Colin Powell the 45th President of the United States. Powell would lead the United States for the next decade due to war-time powers granted by Congress. Honolulu is then declared the temporary capital of the United States.

2014-2017: Second Chinese Civil War occurs. It only ends in 2017 when the CCP leadership bunker in Xilinhot is destroyed by a rogue submarine armed with a JL-2 ICBM, thus forcing the loyalists to band with the rebels to eradicate the zombie threat within China.

2015-2016: Scouts and survivors across the dead zones report that zombies have begin to show rot, thereby indicating in a few years, all the zombies would rot to nothingness.

Mid-2016: The Saratoga conference is held aboard the USS Saratoga, which was anchored at Pearl Harbor.

2017-2020: Changes in military doctrine against zombies are enacted worldwide. Among these changes are the adaption of the semi-automatic Standard Infantry Rifle, the trench tool known as LOBO, thicker military garments meant to prevent a bites, the adaption of the Raj-Singh Maneuver, and the use of K-9 units to sniff out stragglers. Tanks, APCs, IFVs, and jets are only used against hostile human survivors or if things really got desperate.

May 2020: The Battle of Hope, which became the testing ground of this new doctrine, ends in resounding human victory without any casualties. [11]

June 2020: The Road to New York Campaign begins.

2021: Holy Russian Empire lead by Tsar Putin begin supplying separatists in eastern Ukraine while the Ukrainian interim capital at Sevastopol (under the "protection" of the Russian Black Sea Fleet) is busy reclaiming the country Sevastopol can only react in annoyance as its priorities were to clear the country of zombies.

2022: President Colin Powell dies unexpectedly due to stress. His Vice President, Howard Dean, becomes the 46th President of the United States.

2023: The Road to New York Campaign ends with the United States reclaiming all lost land from the zombies. Some outbreaks still occur and are easily put down. Victory Day in America is declared.

2024: Howard Dean is reelected the 2024 elections, the first normal election since 2012.

2025: Victory in China Day declared after Beijing was cleaned of zombies. China becomes a democracy and renames its self as the Chinese Federation.

Post-war: Millions of zombies still roam the ocean floor or are trapped under the Canadian, Finnish, and Russian permafrost. Every spring they emerge once more, causing UN peacekeepers to sweep the area. Zombie attacks are still common throughout island nations as they emerge from the oceans, forcing these nations to adapt robust maritime security or requesting allies to assist in them. There is still no vaccine for the Solanum Virus. As such, the only cure for the Solanum Virus is blunt-force trauma to head or a bullet to the brain.

Notes:
[1] Zombie media apparently exists in WWZ but its apparently forgotten. It's possible that zombie movies flopped and were not well-received due to a slasher movie craze in-universe.
[2] John McCain is more fitting to be President here since the novel has him suffer a mental breakdown after Yonkers. I don't see Obama, who was younger, suffer one.
[3] Colin Powell is implied to be "The Whacko".
[4] It was stated after Dr. Jingshu's release, the outbreak has spread beyond China's borders.
[5] Domestic disturbances and international disputes are a sure way to distract what really was festering within China.
[6] The novel mentions that the PLA was about to stage an invasion of Taiwan as another form of distraction of the Solanum Virus. In reality, the PLA of 2012 did not have the navy to mount a cross-strait invasion. It was also this year only the Liaoning was pressed into service, but training for its aviation wing did not start yet.
[7] Fanfic in the other forum: https://alternate-timelines.com/thread/2591/operation-stoneferry-world-fanfic-locked
[8] Of course, theories and misinformation about the zombie virus would always arise including exaggerated possibilities.
[9] Fro this fanfic in the other forum: https://alternate-timelines.com/thread/2703/fanfic-operation-drypool-fall-britain?q=Amy+Fox
[10] According to the Wiki, the Battle of Yonkers occurs in 2013: https://zombie.fandom.com/wiki/Battle_of_Yonkers. This is data based by reading in between the lines.
[11] According to the Wiki, the Battle of Hope occurs somewhere in 2020: https://zombie.fandom.com/wiki/Battle_of_Hope?so=search

[1] Due to McCain's hawkish stance towards America's adversaries and increased support for Israel, this pushes Tehran to develop a nuclear weapon.
[2] The Miami Zombie incident of OTL is what becomes the first case of the Solanum virus in the United States for the first time since 1992 for TTL.
[3] The Iran-Pakistan nuclear war happened as a result of Pakistani refugees flooding into Iran. Iran fired on Pakistani refugees, causing Islamabad to retaliate with airstrikes on Iranian military and Revolutionary Guard positions. It's unknown who fired the first nuclear weapon.
 
Last edited:
Note: I'm using elements of the recorded attacks in the Zombie Survival Guide along with some fanfic elements to construct this overview timeline of Max Brook's zombie universe.

August 9, 1945: The Red Army invades Manchuria and Korea after declaring war on Japan in the final stages of World War II. The NKVD manages to get their hands on the secret documents of Project Cherry Blossom, which details about Japan's secret biological weapons program that planned to utilize zombies in warfare.

Bet. 1945-1960: The USSR uses these documents for their own version of Cherry Blossom which they plan to use zombies against NATO and the West in an event of a World War III.

1968: George Romero releases Night of the Living Dead. It becomes a hit, and a decade later, Romero would release Dawn of the Dead as its sequel in 1978 and Day of the Dead in 1985.

Bet. 1960s-1980s: The People's Republic of China also begins their version of Cherry Blossom from data shared by the Soviets prior to the Sino-Soviet split. Under Mao Zedong, China begins planning the use of zombies as a final revenge weapons to the USSR and the West. After Mao's death in 1976, Deng Xiaoping takes over and opens up China to the West, thereby relieving tensions and closely cooperating with the United States to contain the USSR. China also gets its first functioning nuclear power plant with cooperation from the West. In 1987, a U.S. spy satellite manages to see a group of PLA tanks and soldiers fire upon a mass of unarmed civilians trying to attack the powerplant. Because this was the period where cooperation with the U.S. was high (including the joint CIA-PLA spying stations in Xinjiang), the incident is hushed up.

1970s-1980s: The slasher movie craze ends up dominating the zombie genre.

June 4, 1989: The People's Liberation Army crushes the pro-democracy student demonstration in Tiananmen Square. The U.S. and the European Economic Community places an arms embargo on China.

August 2, 1990: The Gulf War begins.

October 19, 1990: The remake of Night of the Living Dead directed by Tom Savini (Romero's make-up artists for actors playing as zombies) is released. However, the film flops due to the ongoing slasher movie craze. The zombie genre would even stagnate more in the 1990s.[1]

December 25, 1991: The USSR dissolves.

1992: During the Los Angeles riots, a zombie attack in Watts in repelled by rival gangs. Unfortunately, the ones involved would face life-imprisonment for the "murder of homeless individuals". The incident is covered-up by the LAPD.

1996: The zombie games Resident Evil by Capcom and The House of the Dead by SEGA are poorly received. This causes zombies to be swept aside from the horror genre. While zombie games would be produced in the 21st century, they are not taking off well.[1]

1998: India and Pakistan test nuclear weapons.

December 19, 2000: Al Gore (D-TN) concedes to George W. Bush (R-TX) after the Supreme Court trashes the recount case.

January 1, 2000: The arrival of the New Millennium. There were fears of the Y2K bug and the arrival of the 21st Century would spark another end-times event.

September 11, 2001: The 9/11 attacks occur in the United States. The War on Terror begins by October, culminating in the invasion of Afghanistan.

2002: The last known zombie attack prior to World War Z is recorded in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

2002-2003: SARS outbreak in China.

March 17, 2003: The U.S. invades Iraq for the hunt of Saddam Hussein's alleged WMDs as well as dispose of the Iraqi dictator. The occupation of Iraq begins afterwards.

November 3, 2004: George W. Bush (R-TX) is reelected, defeating Democrat candidate John Kerry (D-MA).

December 26, 2004: The giant earthquake strikes the Indian Ocean, bringing tsunamis that hit Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Yemen, the Maldives, and East Africa.

August 2005: Hurricane Katrina hits the Gulf Coast of the United States. The city of New Orleans is submerged.

October 9, 2006: North Korea tests its first nuclear weapon.

February 10, 2007: A certain young senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, announces the he would run for President in the 2008 elections. Obama wins the primaries as the DNC candidates.

2007-2008: The great recession occurs.

November 4, 2008: John McCain (R-AZ) defeats Barack Obama (D-IL) in the 2008 elections.[2]

January 20, 2009: John McCain, and his Vice President, Colin Powell is inaugurated as the President and the Vice President respectively.[3]

April 2009: H1N1 Swine Flu appears in Mexico and infects others in North America. It becomes a pandemic in 2009 before eventually weakening in August 2010.

May 25, 2009: North Korea conducts its second nuclear test.

January 12, 2010: A big earthquake strikes Haiti.

December 17, 2010: The Arab Spring occurs in the Middle East after a protester self-immolates in Tunisia.

January 31, 2011: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigns.

March 11, 2011: A big earthquake and tsunami hits Japan.

March 15, 2011: The Syrian Civil War erupts.

March 19, 2011: NATO enacts a no-fly zone over Libya.

May 1, 2011: Osama bin-Laden is killed in a U.S. Navy SEAL raid in Pakistan.

October 20, 2011: Muammar Gaddafi is killed by Libyan rebels.

December 17, 2011: The U.S. withdraws from Iraq. Post-American withdrawal violence follows afterwards. On the same day, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il dies and is succeeded by his son Kim Jong-un.

January 13, 2012: The passenger cruise ship Costa Concordia runs aground off the coast of Italy, causing 32 deaths.

March 5, 2012: The documentary KONY 2012 airs on YouTube.

March 15, 2012: Communist party chief of Chongqing Bo Xilai, well known for his neo-Maoist leanings and policies, is removed from his post after a large scandal involving the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood and an incident involving the Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun.

April 8, 2012: The Philippine Navy stands-off with China Marine Surveillance vessels in the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. The McCain administration honors the MDT with the Philippines, and sends U.S. Navy warships to deter the Chinese. After a week, the Chinese back down.

April 12, 2012: On the 100th anniversary of the Eternal President Kim Il-Sung, North Korea attempts to launch Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3 observation satellite into space. The rocket fails on launch, with the debris landing northeast of the Philippines.

May 1, 2012: The McCain administration proposes for a no-fly zone over Syria, which Democrats in Congress block.

May 22, 2012: The Tokyo Skytree, the tallest building in the Japanese capital, opens.

June 30, 2012: Mohammed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, is elected as the 5th President of Egypt.

July 20, 2012: Mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. 12 people are killed and 58 others injured.

July 27-August 12, 2012: The London Summer Olympics is held.

August 2012: First reports of "masses of violence" in rural China. The PLA and MSS is sent to cover up incidents. It is widely believed one of these is the first cases of the Solanum Virus noted by Dr. Kwang Jingshu. He would later be arrested for "spreading misinformation" by the MSS but later released in November, only to realize that the virus has now spread to Central Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa, and Latin America.[4]

September 2012: China, Japan, and Taiwan confront each other over the Senkaku Islands (Chinese: Diayou Islands) in the East China Sea. Sino-Japanese relations deteriorate as Anti-Japanese protests occur in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Japanese business are targeted by angry mobs while large demonstrations are held in the Japanese Embassy in Beijing. Western intelligence operatives note that the CCP is using these anti-Japanese protests to distract the world as it covers up localized outbreaks of the Solanum Virus.[5]

September 25, 2012: Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning (002; formerly the Riga then Varyag) is commissioned in service with the PLA-N. She is China's first aircraft carrier.

October 2012: The Fourth Taiwan Strait Crisis occurs as China sends bombers and fighter jets in Taiwan's ADIZ. A series of war games and missile tests occur in Fujian province.[6]

October 15, 2012: First news of African Rabies is reported. Breckendrige Scott, a CEO of a big pharmaceutical company, announces his team will develop a vaccine for it within a few months time. In response to the acknowledgement of the existence of zombies from the CIA, DIA, NSA, MI6, and the DGSE, the U.S. Department of Defense and the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defense plans covert missions meant to terminate outbreaks while the military mobilizes. Dubbed as "Alpha Teams" which comprised of Tier-1 operators (DEVGRU, ISA, SFOD-D, Green Berets, and MARSOC), the United States launches Operation Midnight Arrow. Their allies across the Atlantic launch their own, called Operation Stoneferry, which aims at eradicating outbreaks within Commonwealth countries.[7]

October 16, 2012: Canada secretly launches Operation Archer in close coordination with the U.S. and the United Kingdom.

November 6, 2012: John McCain is reelected as the President of the United States, defeating Hillary Clinton (D-NY).

November 15, 2012: Xi Jinping is elected by the National People's Congress to be the next General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party.

December 21, 2012: Fears of the Mayan Doomsday are proven false.

January 20, 2013: John McCain is re-inaugurated as the President of the United States.

February 10, 2013: The first vaccine against the African Rabies, called Phalanx, is developed. Clinical tests against rabies proved successful. It is then approved by the FDA. Mass vaccination occurs within the United States and around the world. Unfortunately, the vaccine only worked against ordinary rabies and not the Solanum Virus, which causes many small-time outbreaks that were put-down by SOCOM and local law-enforcement agencies.

February 12, 2013: North Korea conducts its third nuclear test.

February 15, 2013: A meteor hits near the town of Chelyabinsk, Russia. While no deaths are reported, over 1,000 people are injured. Over the course of World War Z, there are conspiracy theories that the Chelyabinsk meteor is responsible for the bringing the Solanum Virus to earth. These were proven false as there is no way for viruses to survive the heat as the meteor entered the Earth's atmosphere.[8]

March 13, 2013: Jorge Mario Bergoglio is appointed as the next Pope. He goes under the name of Francis.

March 14, 2013: Xi Jinping assumes office as the next President of the People's Republic of China.

April 15, 2013: The Boston marathon bombing occurs, which leads to a four-day manhunt for the perpetuators. One of the bombers is killed after being accidentally ran over by his brother while the other was captured after being discovered hiding in a boat in Watertown, MA. The manhunt was described as heroic, but would soon be overshadowed by the Great Panic a month later.

April 24, 2013: Amy Cooper, a reporter for Fox News, breaks the story that Phalanx does not protect against the Solanum Virus. This leads to the Great Panic. [9]

Spring 2013 (April-June 2013): The Great Panic grips the world. Fearing arrest, Scott Breckenridge flees the United States, stopping first in Honduras and Paraguay before hitching a boat to the Russian research station in Antartica, where he would hide for the next decade to come. In the midst of the chaos, the terror group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant makes significant gains in the Middle East.

August 2013: The Battle of Yonkers. [10]

Late 2013 to 2014: The West Coast safe zone is established east of the Rocky Mountains and the Continental Divide after it took time to clear zombies within the area. Somewhere along the way, President McCain suffers a stroke. The 25th Amendment is invoked, thereby making Vice President Colin Powell the 45th President of the United States. Powell would lead the United States for the next decade due to war-time powers granted by Congress. Honolulu is then declared the temporary capital of the United States.

2014-2017: Second Chinese Civil War occurs. It only ends in 2017 when the CCP leadership bunker in Xilinhot is destroyed by a rogue submarine armed with a JL-2 ICBM, thus forcing the loyalists to band with the rebels to eradicate the zombie threat within China.

2015-2016: Scouts and survivors across the dead zones report that zombies have begin to show rot, thereby indicating in a few years, all the zombies would rot to nothingness.

Mid-2016: The Saratoga conference is held aboard the USS Saratoga, which was anchored at Pearl Harbor.

2017-2020: Changes in military doctrine against zombies are enacted worldwide. Among these changes are the adaption of the semi-automatic Standard Infantry Rifle, the trench tool known as LOBO, thicker military garments meant to prevent a bites, the adaption of the Raj-Singh Maneuver, and the use of K-9 units to sniff out stragglers. Tanks, APCs, IFVs, and jets are only used against hostile human survivors or if things really got desperate.

May 2020: The Battle of Hope, which became the testing ground of this new doctrine, ends in resounding human victory without any casualties. [11]

June 2020: The Road to New York Campaign begins.

2021: Holy Russian Empire lead by Tsar Putin begin supplying separatists in eastern Ukraine while the Ukrainian interim capital at Sevastopol (under the "protection" of the Russian Black Sea Fleet) is busy reclaiming the country Sevastopol can only react in annoyance as its priorities were to clear the country of zombies.

2022: President Colin Powell dies unexpectedly due to stress. His Vice President, Howard Dean, becomes the 46th President of the United States.

2023: The Road to New York Campaign ends with the United States reclaiming all lost land from the zombies. Some outbreaks still occur and are easily put down. Victory Day in America is declared.

2024: Howard Dean is reelected the 2024 elections, the first normal election since 2012.

2025: Victory in China Day declared after Beijing was cleaned of zombies. China becomes a democracy and renames its self as the Chinese Federation.

Post-war: Millions of zombies still roam the ocean floor or are trapped under the Canadian, Finnish, and Russian permafrost. Every spring they emerge once more, causing UN peacekeepers to sweep the area. Zombie attacks are still common throughout island nations as they emerge from the oceans, forcing these nations to adapt robust maritime security or requesting allies to assist in them. There is still no vaccine for the Solanum Virus. As such, the only cure for the Solanum Virus is blunt-force trauma to head or a bullet to the brain.

Notes:
[1] Zombie media apparently exists in WWZ but its apparently forgotten. It's possible that zombie movies flopped and were not well-received due to a slasher movie craze in-universe.
[2] John McCain is more fitting to be President here since the novel has him suffer a mental breakdown after Yonkers. I don't see Obama, who was younger, suffer one.
[3] Colin Powell is implied to be "The Whacko".
[4] It was stated after Dr. Jingshu's release, the outbreak has spread beyond China's borders.
[5] Domestic disturbances and international disputes are a sure way to distract what really was festering within China.
[6] The novel mentions that the PLA was about to stage an invasion of Taiwan as another form of distraction of the Solanum Virus. In reality, the PLA of 2012 did not have the navy to mount a cross-strait invasion. It was also this year only the Liaoning was pressed into service, but training for its aviation wing did not start yet.
[7] Fanfic in the other forum: https://alternate-timelines.com/thread/2591/operation-stoneferry-world-fanfic-locked
[8] Of course, theories and misinformation about the zombie virus would always arise including exaggerated possibilities.
[9] Fro this fanfic in the other forum: https://alternate-timelines.com/thread/2703/fanfic-operation-drypool-fall-britain?q=Amy+Fox
[10] According to the Wiki, the Battle of Yonkers occurs in 2013: https://zombie.fandom.com/wiki/Battle_of_Yonkers. This is data based by reading in between the lines.
[11] According to the Wiki, the Battle of Hope occurs somewhere in 2020: https://zombie.fandom.com/wiki/Battle_of_Hope?so=search
so the Project Cherry Blossom been a sub-project of Unit 731.
 
Note: I'm using elements of the recorded attacks in the Zombie Survival Guide along with some fanfic elements to construct this overview timeline of Max Brook's zombie universe.

August 9, 1945: The Red Army invades Manchuria and Korea after declaring war on Japan in the final stages of World War II. The NKVD manages to get their hands on the secret documents of Project Cherry Blossom, which details about Japan's secret biological weapons program that planned to utilize zombies in warfare.

Bet. 1945-1960: The USSR uses these documents for their own version of Cherry Blossom which they plan to use zombies against NATO and the West in an event of a World War III.

1968: George Romero releases Night of the Living Dead. It becomes a hit, and a decade later, Romero would release Dawn of the Dead as its sequel in 1978 and Day of the Dead in 1985.

Bet. 1960s-1980s: The People's Republic of China also begins their version of Cherry Blossom from data shared by the Soviets prior to the Sino-Soviet split. Under Mao Zedong, China begins planning the use of zombies as a final revenge weapons to the USSR and the West. After Mao's death in 1976, Deng Xiaoping takes over and opens up China to the West, thereby relieving tensions and closely cooperating with the United States to contain the USSR. China also gets its first functioning nuclear power plant with cooperation from the West. In 1987, a U.S. spy satellite manages to see a group of PLA tanks and soldiers fire upon a mass of unarmed civilians trying to attack the powerplant. Because this was the period where cooperation with the U.S. was high (including the joint CIA-PLA spying stations in Xinjiang), the incident is hushed up.

1970s-1980s: The slasher movie craze ends up dominating the zombie genre.

June 4, 1989: The People's Liberation Army crushes the pro-democracy student demonstration in Tiananmen Square. The U.S. and the European Economic Community places an arms embargo on China.

August 2, 1990: The Gulf War begins.

October 19, 1990: The remake of Night of the Living Dead directed by Tom Savini (Romero's make-up artists for actors playing as zombies) is released. However, the film flops due to the ongoing slasher movie craze. The zombie genre would even stagnate more in the 1990s.[1]

December 25, 1991: The USSR dissolves.

1992: During the Los Angeles riots, a zombie attack in Watts in repelled by rival gangs. Unfortunately, the ones involved would face life-imprisonment for the "murder of homeless individuals". The incident is covered-up by the LAPD.

1996: The zombie games Resident Evil by Capcom and The House of the Dead by SEGA are poorly received. This causes zombies to be swept aside from the horror genre. While zombie games would be produced in the 21st century, they are not taking off well.[1]

1998: India and Pakistan test nuclear weapons.

December 19, 2000: Al Gore (D-TN) concedes to George W. Bush (R-TX) after the Supreme Court trashes the recount case.

January 1, 2000: The arrival of the New Millennium. There were fears of the Y2K bug and the arrival of the 21st Century would spark another end-times event.

September 11, 2001: The 9/11 attacks occur in the United States. The War on Terror begins by October, culminating in the invasion of Afghanistan.

2002: The last known zombie attack prior to World War Z is recorded in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

2002-2003: SARS outbreak in China.

March 17, 2003: The U.S. invades Iraq for the hunt of Saddam Hussein's alleged WMDs as well as dispose of the Iraqi dictator. The occupation of Iraq begins afterwards.

November 3, 2004: George W. Bush (R-TX) is reelected, defeating Democrat candidate John Kerry (D-MA).

December 26, 2004: The giant earthquake strikes the Indian Ocean, bringing tsunamis that hit Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Yemen, the Maldives, and East Africa.

August 2005: Hurricane Katrina hits the Gulf Coast of the United States. The city of New Orleans is submerged.

October 9, 2006: North Korea tests its first nuclear weapon.

February 10, 2007: A certain young senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, announces the he would run for President in the 2008 elections. Obama wins the primaries as the DNC candidates.

2007-2008: The great recession occurs.

November 4, 2008: John McCain (R-AZ) defeats Barack Obama (D-IL) in the 2008 elections.[2]

January 20, 2009: John McCain, and his Vice President, Colin Powell is inaugurated as the President and the Vice President respectively.[3]

April 2009: H1N1 Swine Flu appears in Mexico and infects others in North America. It becomes a pandemic in 2009 before eventually weakening in August 2010.

May 25, 2009: North Korea conducts its second nuclear test.

January 12, 2010: A big earthquake strikes Haiti.

December 17, 2010: The Arab Spring occurs in the Middle East after a protester self-immolates in Tunisia.

January 31, 2011: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigns.

March 11, 2011: A big earthquake and tsunami hits Japan.

March 15, 2011: The Syrian Civil War erupts.

March 19, 2011: NATO enacts a no-fly zone over Libya.

May 1, 2011: Osama bin-Laden is killed in a U.S. Navy SEAL raid in Pakistan.

October 20, 2011: Muammar Gaddafi is killed by Libyan rebels.

December 17, 2011: The U.S. withdraws from Iraq. Post-American withdrawal violence follows afterwards. On the same day, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il dies and is succeeded by his son Kim Jong-un.

January 13, 2012: The passenger cruise ship Costa Concordia runs aground off the coast of Italy, causing 32 deaths.

March 5, 2012: The documentary KONY 2012 airs on YouTube.

March 15, 2012: Communist party chief of Chongqing Bo Xilai, well known for his neo-Maoist leanings and policies, is removed from his post after a large scandal involving the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood and an incident involving the Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun.

April 8, 2012: The Philippine Navy stands-off with China Marine Surveillance vessels in the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. The McCain administration honors the MDT with the Philippines, and sends U.S. Navy warships to deter the Chinese. After a week, the Chinese back down.

April 12, 2012: On the 100th anniversary of the Eternal President Kim Il-Sung, North Korea attempts to launch Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3 observation satellite into space. The rocket fails on launch, with the debris landing northeast of the Philippines.

May 1, 2012: The McCain administration proposes for a no-fly zone over Syria, which Democrats in Congress block.

May 22, 2012: The Tokyo Skytree, the tallest building in the Japanese capital, opens.

June 30, 2012: Mohammed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, is elected as the 5th President of Egypt.

July 20, 2012: Mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. 12 people are killed and 58 others injured.

July 27-August 12, 2012: The London Summer Olympics is held.

August 2012: First reports of "masses of violence" in rural China. The PLA and MSS is sent to cover up incidents. It is widely believed one of these is the first cases of the Solanum Virus noted by Dr. Kwang Jingshu. He would later be arrested for "spreading misinformation" by the MSS but later released in November, only to realize that the virus has now spread to Central Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa, and Latin America.[4]

September 2012: China, Japan, and Taiwan confront each other over the Senkaku Islands (Chinese: Diayou Islands) in the East China Sea. Sino-Japanese relations deteriorate as Anti-Japanese protests occur in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Japanese business are targeted by angry mobs while large demonstrations are held in the Japanese Embassy in Beijing. Western intelligence operatives note that the CCP is using these anti-Japanese protests to distract the world as it covers up localized outbreaks of the Solanum Virus.[5]

September 25, 2012: Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning (002; formerly the Riga then Varyag) is commissioned in service with the PLA-N. She is China's first aircraft carrier.

October 2012: The Fourth Taiwan Strait Crisis occurs as China sends bombers and fighter jets in Taiwan's ADIZ. A series of war games and missile tests occur in Fujian province.[6]

October 15, 2012: First news of African Rabies is reported. Breckendrige Scott, a CEO of a big pharmaceutical company, announces his team will develop a vaccine for it within a few months time. In response to the acknowledgement of the existence of zombies from the CIA, DIA, NSA, MI6, and the DGSE, the U.S. Department of Defense and the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defense plans covert missions meant to terminate outbreaks while the military mobilizes. Dubbed as "Alpha Teams" which comprised of Tier-1 operators (DEVGRU, ISA, SFOD-D, Green Berets, and MARSOC), the United States launches Operation Midnight Arrow. Their allies across the Atlantic launch their own, called Operation Stoneferry, which aims at eradicating outbreaks within Commonwealth countries.[7]

October 16, 2012: Canada secretly launches Operation Archer in close coordination with the U.S. and the United Kingdom.

November 6, 2012: John McCain is reelected as the President of the United States, defeating Hillary Clinton (D-NY).

November 15, 2012: Xi Jinping is elected by the National People's Congress to be the next General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party.

December 21, 2012: Fears of the Mayan Doomsday are proven false.

January 20, 2013: John McCain is re-inaugurated as the President of the United States.

February 10, 2013: The first vaccine against the African Rabies, called Phalanx, is developed. Clinical tests against rabies proved successful. It is then approved by the FDA. Mass vaccination occurs within the United States and around the world. Unfortunately, the vaccine only worked against ordinary rabies and not the Solanum Virus, which causes many small-time outbreaks that were put-down by SOCOM and local law-enforcement agencies.

February 12, 2013: North Korea conducts its third nuclear test.

February 15, 2013: A meteor hits near the town of Chelyabinsk, Russia. While no deaths are reported, over 1,000 people are injured. Over the course of World War Z, there are conspiracy theories that the Chelyabinsk meteor is responsible for the bringing the Solanum Virus to earth. These were proven false as there is no way for viruses to survive the heat as the meteor entered the Earth's atmosphere.[8]

March 13, 2013: Jorge Mario Bergoglio is appointed as the next Pope. He goes under the name of Francis.

March 14, 2013: Xi Jinping assumes office as the next President of the People's Republic of China.

April 15, 2013: The Boston marathon bombing occurs, which leads to a four-day manhunt for the perpetuators. One of the bombers is killed after being accidentally ran over by his brother while the other was captured after being discovered hiding in a boat in Watertown, MA. The manhunt was described as heroic, but would soon be overshadowed by the Great Panic a month later.

April 24, 2013: Amy Cooper, a reporter for Fox News, breaks the story that Phalanx does not protect against the Solanum Virus. This leads to the Great Panic. [9]

Spring 2013 (April-June 2013): The Great Panic grips the world. Fearing arrest, Scott Breckenridge flees the United States, stopping first in Honduras and Paraguay before hitching a boat to the Russian research station in Antartica, where he would hide for the next decade to come. In the midst of the chaos, the terror group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant makes significant gains in the Middle East.

August 2013: The Battle of Yonkers. [10]

Late 2013 to 2014: The West Coast safe zone is established east of the Rocky Mountains and the Continental Divide after it took time to clear zombies within the area. Somewhere along the way, President McCain suffers a stroke. The 25th Amendment is invoked, thereby making Vice President Colin Powell the 45th President of the United States. Powell would lead the United States for the next decade due to war-time powers granted by Congress. Honolulu is then declared the temporary capital of the United States.

2014-2017: Second Chinese Civil War occurs. It only ends in 2017 when the CCP leadership bunker in Xilinhot is destroyed by a rogue submarine armed with a JL-2 ICBM, thus forcing the loyalists to band with the rebels to eradicate the zombie threat within China.

2015-2016: Scouts and survivors across the dead zones report that zombies have begin to show rot, thereby indicating in a few years, all the zombies would rot to nothingness.

Mid-2016: The Saratoga conference is held aboard the USS Saratoga, which was anchored at Pearl Harbor.

2017-2020: Changes in military doctrine against zombies are enacted worldwide. Among these changes are the adaption of the semi-automatic Standard Infantry Rifle, the trench tool known as LOBO, thicker military garments meant to prevent a bites, the adaption of the Raj-Singh Maneuver, and the use of K-9 units to sniff out stragglers. Tanks, APCs, IFVs, and jets are only used against hostile human survivors or if things really got desperate.

May 2020: The Battle of Hope, which became the testing ground of this new doctrine, ends in resounding human victory without any casualties. [11]

June 2020: The Road to New York Campaign begins.

2021: Holy Russian Empire lead by Tsar Putin begin supplying separatists in eastern Ukraine while the Ukrainian interim capital at Sevastopol (under the "protection" of the Russian Black Sea Fleet) is busy reclaiming the country Sevastopol can only react in annoyance as its priorities were to clear the country of zombies.

2022: President Colin Powell dies unexpectedly due to stress. His Vice President, Howard Dean, becomes the 46th President of the United States.

2023: The Road to New York Campaign ends with the United States reclaiming all lost land from the zombies. Some outbreaks still occur and are easily put down. Victory Day in America is declared.

2024: Howard Dean is reelected the 2024 elections, the first normal election since 2012.

2025: Victory in China Day declared after Beijing was cleaned of zombies. China becomes a democracy and renames its self as the Chinese Federation.

Post-war: Millions of zombies still roam the ocean floor or are trapped under the Canadian, Finnish, and Russian permafrost. Every spring they emerge once more, causing UN peacekeepers to sweep the area. Zombie attacks are still common throughout island nations as they emerge from the oceans, forcing these nations to adapt robust maritime security or requesting allies to assist in them. There is still no vaccine for the Solanum Virus. As such, the only cure for the Solanum Virus is blunt-force trauma to head or a bullet to the brain.

Notes:
[1] Zombie media apparently exists in WWZ but its apparently forgotten. It's possible that zombie movies flopped and were not well-received due to a slasher movie craze in-universe.
[2] John McCain is more fitting to be President here since the novel has him suffer a mental breakdown after Yonkers. I don't see Obama, who was younger, suffer one.
[3] Colin Powell is implied to be "The Whacko".
[4] It was stated after Dr. Jingshu's release, the outbreak has spread beyond China's borders.
[5] Domestic disturbances and international disputes are a sure way to distract what really was festering within China.
[6] The novel mentions that the PLA was about to stage an invasion of Taiwan as another form of distraction of the Solanum Virus. In reality, the PLA of 2012 did not have the navy to mount a cross-strait invasion. It was also this year only the Liaoning was pressed into service, but training for its aviation wing did not start yet.
[7] Fanfic in the other forum: https://alternate-timelines.com/thread/2591/operation-stoneferry-world-fanfic-locked
[8] Of course, theories and misinformation about the zombie virus would always arise including exaggerated possibilities.
[9] Fro this fanfic in the other forum: https://alternate-timelines.com/thread/2703/fanfic-operation-drypool-fall-britain?q=Amy+Fox
[10] According to the Wiki, the Battle of Yonkers occurs in 2013: https://zombie.fandom.com/wiki/Battle_of_Yonkers. This is data based by reading in between the lines.
[11] According to the Wiki, the Battle of Hope occurs somewhere in 2020: https://zombie.fandom.com/wiki/Battle_of_Hope?so=search
I am very impressed at this, might take this as my head canon.
 
Seeing as how the Solanum virus replaces COVID-19 as the plague from China, who knows whether I would be alive like some of you guys since zombie outbreaks in the World War Z universe lasted up until the 2020s.
 
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No problem. One question what is inside North Korea`s bunkers? Did the population evacuate safely down there? Or did something go wrong and there are millions of zombies in there?
 
Seeing as how the Solanum virus replaces COVID-19 as the plague from China, who knows whether I would be alive like some of you guys since zombie outbreaks in the World War Z universe lasted up until the 2020s.
I'm probably dead. The Philippines is overpopulated and in 2013, the military was at a bad state. I just graduated high school at the time of the Great Panic. If ever I'm alive, I never got the chance to experience college, get drunk, party, flirt with girls, and earn my degree.

Here's a fanfic set in the Philippines:
No problem. One question what is inside North Korea`s bunkers? Did the population evacuate safely down there? Or did something go wrong and there are millions of zombies in there?
There's a story called The Way is Shut. Fans have considered it canon.

https://www.reddit.com/r/nosleep/comments/elxoy https://www.reddit.com/r/AskScienceFiction/comments/c2yu0m https://www.reddit.com/r/AskScienceFiction/comments/3hn1p0
Yes, there are 23 million zombies just waiting to be let out once those rusty doors finally give way.

Here's another North Korea story about a UN expedition but it has not been continued:

Then another fanfic where North Korea does not collapse and enters a truce with South Korea:

In the other forum:
 
Ah yes I`ve read that wonderful fanfic. Ok thanks. I`m probably dead as well in this TL I would be a 24 year old disabled woman in Northern Ireland I don`t think that `s a survivable combination.
 
Ah yes I`ve read that wonderful fanfic. Ok thanks. I`m probably dead as well in this TL I would be a 24 year old disabled woman in Northern Ireland I don`t think that `s a survivable combination.
The island of Eire survived. So both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland miraculously survived without getting a single infected. How is what I don't understand.
 
I would have thought there would have been a few outbreaks here but they were all put down and just weren`t mentioned overall. I mean there were zombies in Iceland Ireland is going to have some as well.

There are two great books set in Northern Ireland with a massive zombie outbreak Flu and Fever by Wayne Simmons.
 
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I would have thought there would have been a few outbreaks here but they were all put down and just weren`t mentioned overall. I mean there were zombies in Iceland Ireland is going to have some as well.

There are two great books set in Northern Ireland with a massive zombie outbreak Flu and Fever by Wayne Simmons.
My guess is that the Irish were able to quell their outbreaks faster. Same for the Cubans which a few washed up zombies from refugee boats from the U.S. mainland and other Caribbean countries.
 
[2] John McCain is more fitting to be President here since the novel has him suffer a mental breakdown after Yonkers. I don't see Obama, who was younger, suffer one.
And his hawkish stance on Iran is something which could incentivize the Islamic Republic to develop nukes.
 
I will be dead too and I am careless kid during 2013. If somehow I am alive after the war, I will be suffering from PTSD.
I was 16-17 in 2013. My world was only 9GAG-era memes, video games, and 2010s pop music.

If I am still alive by 2023-2025, I don't even know what's normal. I'll have survival skills but no educational skills because schools will be closed or be converted to emergency survival courses.
 
Consider that you might want to flag more Asian PODs, especially considering that the initial outbreak occurs in North Korea. Second, consider the idea that the notes for Unit 731 would certainly be more important than CHERRY BLOSSOM. Remember that the Japanese used the infamous unit to conduct the grisly human, experiments. Second, in regards to North Korea, they would have certainly conducted experiments on captured American and Allied troops during the Korean War in 1950-1953. One idea to play with is that starting in 1994 and 2004, North Korea suffered some major famines. As a result, North Koreans tried flooding across the South Korean border, fueling military tensions, and escaping Manchuria, by escaping into China.

Another detail to play with are "North Korean ghost ships":


Since 2011, seemingly abandoned North Korean ships have been found across the Sea of Japan, carrying a crew mainly of dead sailors. As such, this could easily be seen as how the initial outbreak spread from country to country...
 
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