The International Archaelogical Survey is a team of archaeologists whose goal is in search of ancient advanced races on Earth. The IAS is lead by Dr. David Rosenthal.
Prior to 2020 and the events leading to the incident in the Lingshan islands, Rosenthal and the IAS discovered alien artifacts in Afghanistan and Siberia. Unknown to the IAS, their work was monitored by the United States government in which they had placed an undercover CIA operative in the IAS.
By the event of the Lingshan incident, the IAS discovered a fossilized alien machine in which their discovery caught the attention of North Korea and their subsequent military occupation of the archipelago. The IAS were captured by the Korean People's Army but not before Rosenthal's daughter Helena Rosenthal sent a distress call to the United States.