Elise Hu

Elise Hu is an award-winning correspondent assigned to NPR's newest international bureau, in Seoul, South Korea. She's responsible for covering geopolitics, business and life in both Koreas and Japan. She previously covered the intersection of technology and culture for the network's on-air, online and multimedia platforms.

Hu joined NPR in 2011 to coordinate the digital development and editorial vision for the StateImpact network, a state government reporting project focused on member stations.

Before joining NPR, she was one of the founding reporters at The Texas Tribune, a non-profit digital news startup devoted to politics and public policy. While at the Tribune, Hu oversaw television partnerships and multimedia projects; contributed to The New York Times' expanded Texas coverage and pushed for editorial innovation across platforms.

An honors graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia's School of Journalism, she previously worked as the state political reporter for KVUE-TV in Austin, WYFF-TV in Greenville, SC, and reported from Asia for the Taipei Times.

Her work has earned a Gannett Foundation Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism, a National Edward R. Murrow award for best online video, beat reporting awards from the Texas Associated Press and The Austin Chronicle once dubiously named her the "Best TV Reporter Who Can Write."

Outside of work, Hu has taught digital journalism at Northwestern University and Georgetown University's journalism schools and serves as a guest co-host for TWIT.tv's program, Tech News Today. She's also an adviser to the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, where she keeps up with emerging media and technology as a panelist for the Knight News Challenge.

Elise Hu can be reached by e-mail at ehu (at) npr (dot) org as well as via the social media links, above.

Laos has a grim claim to fame, as the most heavily bombed country in history. And today, more than four decades after the U.S. dropped those armaments, millions of unexploded bombs remain. President Obama on Tuesday became the first sitting U.S. president to visit the small, communist Southeast Asian country and promised to double U.S. funding to help educate residents about the dangers and clear the bombs that remain in the ground. "Given our history here, I believe the United States has a...

Recently inaugurated Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is "expressing regret" for his comments at a fiery press conference, in which he called President Obama a "son of a bitch" or "son of a whore" (depending on how you translate the Tagalog) and threatened to swear at him in a planned bilateral meeting. The White House canceled the meeting shortly after Duterte's comments. "We ... regret [the remarks] came across as a personal attack on the U.S. president," Duterte's office said in a...

The North Korean regime's network of overseas restaurants have enjoyed a bit of renown this year, after the defection en masse of 13 restaurant workers from one of the Pyongyang dining outposts in Northeastern China this spring. Those restaurant workers are now in South Korea, having absconded in a coordinated defection that is the biggest mass-defection from North Korea in history. That North Korea-run restaurant from which the 12 waitresses and their manager escaped is now closed. But South...

The shops here in Vientiane, the capital of Laos, hum along without air conditioning, and there are as many tuk-tuks as taxis to take you where you want to go. The rather sleepy place is about to get shaken awake as throngs of global leaders, and their traveling entourages and press, descend on the small nation, starting Monday. Laos is hosting the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN summit, and the country will mark President Barack Obama's final stop in Asia as president. "It's...

A zombie flick is smashing box office records in South Korea. Train to Busan has been seen by an estimated 11 million Koreans — a fifth of the population — and broken numerous records, including the highest single-day ticket sales in Korean film history. The plot isn't complicated: Everyday South Koreans find themselves trapped on a speeding bullet train with fast-multiplying zombies, creating the kind of claustrophobic feel that freshens up the zombie trope. But beyond a fast-paced summer...

As part of the project A Nation Engaged , NPR and member stations are exploring America's role in the world heading into the presidential election. On a sweltering July morning, divers in full gear from the U.S. Navy's mobile diving and salvage unit jump one by one off a Pearl Harbor pier in Hawaii. Tethered to air supply hoses and armed with heavy equipment, the units dive about 20 feet deep into the Pacific to weld thick metal, a necessary skill in disasters or conflicts when ships or piers...

Something curious is happening to North Korean officials abroad. A growing number of diplomats and other North Koreans working for the regime overseas are defecting from their posts. At least, it certainly seems that way if you are following the South Korean media. South Korea's government confirmed the most recent case , of Thae Yong Ho, the deputy ambassador at North Korea's embassy in London. He managed to get himself and his family on a flight to Seoul, the capital of the South. But what...

Japan's emperor is hinting he wants to leave the Chrysanthemum Throne. 82-year-old Emperor Akihito gave a rare televised address Monday — only his second in history — in which he reflected on his advancing age, the tough daily schedule of his ceremonial post and the toll it was taking on his health. "When I consider that my fitness level is gradually declining, I am worried that it may become difficult for me to carry out my duties as the symbol of the state with my whole being as I have done...

The stabbing death of a young woman in a Seoul subway station and the gang rape of a teacher have stirred intense public debate about the status of women in South Korea. By most measures, South Korea is a modern country with one of the largest economies in the world. But it has catching up to do when it comes to gender equality, and the recent events have burst open long-festering issues surrounding societal attitudes about women. In May, the Gangnam subway station in the Seoul district...

In Japan, the world's third largest economy, the Brexit means more bad news for a country already struggling with its finances. Following the British vote to leave the European Union, the Japanese stock market on Friday saw the largest single day drop since the year 2000 (though it did rebound a bit on Monday). Japan's exports instantly became pricier — and less competitive — as the value of the Japanese yen soared. Japanese households, meanwhile, are still cautious about spending money...

North Korea test-fired two ballistic missiles on Wednesday, the latest in a string of launches that defy a United Nations ban. South Korea's Defense Ministry says the first missile failed not long after it was launched from Wonsan, on North Korea's east coast. The second appears to have flown a distance of 250 miles and reached an altitude of 620 miles before falling into the Sea of Japan, South Korea says. South Korean Defense Ministry officials believe the missiles were mid-range Musudan...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icCNG3JcTYQ There's a summer camp on every theme these days, even North Korea. South Korea's twist on extracurricular enrichment is called Unification Leaders Camp, and it's a government-sponsored getaway dedicated to schooling South Korean youngsters about their neighbors to the north. At a recent camp session on South Korea's Jeju Island, 120 ninth-graders rolled their suitcases into a sprawling beach-side resort lined with palm trees, snapping selfies on the...

The conversations in Beijing at high-level talks between the U.S. and China are quite serious. Leaders are covering a lot of ground — everything from climate change to currency, even outer space. But the language used in these discussions? Rather colorful. This is China, after all — a civilization around for millennia. So, to describe the complex U.S.-China relationship, Chinese President Xi Jinping quoted a poet from the thousand-year-old Song Dynasty. "Thick mountains could not stop the...

The U.S. and China are the two largest economies in the world — and interdependent in a host of ways. But as leaders from both countries start annual high-level talks in Beijing, disagreements over how China does business are creating some trust issues in the relationship. "You might want to think of the US China relationship as kind of like an arranged marriage," says Arthur Kroeber, a Beijing-based economist and author of China's Economy: What You Need to Know. "They're not in it because...

Minhae Kim didn't check air pollution levels before bringing her one-year-old to Seoul's Yongsan Family Park. Perhaps she should have. On this day — and on most days this spring — the measures of the most dangerous kind of pollution in Seoul exceed the World Health Organization's recommended limit. And Korea ranks near the very bottom for air quality in Yale University's latest 180-country Environmental Performance Index. "People say the [poor] air quality here these days is because of China,...

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