No one expected the series of miscalculations, random events and corresponding choices that prompted North Korea to launch dozens of nuclear-tipped missiles at Japan, South Korea and ultimately the United States. While just a handful of those missiles reached their targets — or areas near them — the devastation that the bombs wrought was unprecedented.

In Japan, the metropolitan areas of Tokyo and Yokohama were the hardest hit, while scores were killed in the South Korean cities of Seoul, Pyeongtaek, Daegu and Busan. In the end, around 1.4 million people died and more than 5 million were severely wounded as a result of the attacks.

The second wave of the North Korean attack, which struck the U.S., killed another 1.4 million people and seriously wounded 2.8 million more.