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.

South Korean lawmakers voted 234-56 on Friday to impeach President Park Geun-hye. A constitutional court will now decide whether to remove from office the country's first female leader, who's been mired in a corruption scandal that has paralyzed the country's political system. "Regardless of the opinions in favor or against the impeachment, the public is watching with deep hearts," National Assembly Speaker Chung Sye-kyun said after the vote. "And hoping this doesn't repeat itself in the...

South Korean President Park Geun-hye — facing demands for her ouster because of a corruption scandal — announced she is willing to shorten her term at the discretion of the National Assembly and "step down afterwards," throwing an already tumultuous political situation here into more confusion. Park, who has 14 months left in her five-year term, is a suspect in a sprawling criminal investigation over whether she enabled a cult-linked old friend — dubbed a "Rasputin-like" figure — to control...

Hundreds of thousands of South Koreans from across the country crammed into the major thoroughfare of central Seoul on Saturday, in an organized and peaceful protest against the embattled president, Park Geun-hye. The crowd of at least 500,000 people, according to Reuters, held candles and signs reading "Resign," sang pop songs and patriotic numbers, and marched together toward the Blue House, the presidential home and office complex. "It's an explosion of their feelings," demonstrator Jinwon...

Tens of thousands demonstrated in cities across South Korea on Saturday, demanding President Park Geun-hye step down from office. Her approval rating has hit an unprecedented low of 14 percent and Park's ordered all 10 of her senior aides to resign, following revelations an unelected, unappointed confidant was receiving advance copies and altering dozens of confidential policy speeches. They have led to charges that the friend is a secret "puppet master" and the real power behind "the throne....

Cup Noodles, the dorm-room staple that cooks in three minutes, turns 45 this month. There's no better place to celebrate than its very own museum in Yokohama, Japan. "This is the museum that really honors the creator of instant ramen and Cup Noodles," says museum manager Yuya Ichikawa, who leads me on a tour. Here you'll find a floor-to-ceiling display of every flavor of instant ramen put out since the mid-20th century; a kitchen to prepare fresh ramen noodles; a sprawling assembly line —...

Updated 11:15 a.m. ET North Korea confirmed it has conducted its fifth test of a nuclear weapon, the second this year. The test occurred Friday morning local time and triggered a magnitude 5.3 seismic event. The North's state TV said the test "examined and confirmed" the design of a nuclear warhead intended for placement on a ballistic missile. It said there was no leakage of radioactivity. China's Ministry of Environmental Protection said radiation levels in its border region with North...

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...

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...

Packing your child's lunch calls for a whole different level of preparation in Japan. There, moms often shape ordinary lunch ingredients like ham or rice into cute little pandas, Pokemon or even famous people's faces . It's called character bento, and there's considerable pressure to produce these cute food creations. Tomomi Maruo has been teaching how to make character bentos, or "kyaraben" for short — at her home for the past 13 years. " My kid brought kyaraben to the kindergarten and his...

This is a developing story. Last updated 6:18 a.m. ET. Snipers shot and killed five Dallas law enforcement officers and injured another six at the end of a rally in downtown Dallas, where hundreds were protesting police shootings that happened in other parts of the country earlier this week. Four of the officers worked for Dallas Police; the fifth was identified as 43-year-old transit officer Brent Thompson, of Dallas Area Rapid Transit, or DART. Dallas Police Chief David Brown described what...

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...

"Seventy-one years ago, on a bright, cloudless morning, death fell from the sky and the world was changed," President Obama said Friday, in the first visit by a sitting U.S. president to Hiroshima, Japan. In 1945, the United States dropped the first atomic bomb used in warfare on that city, killing an estimated 140,000 people. A second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki three days later. Within weeks, Japan surrendered, ending the war in the Pacific Theater. Today, the city of Hiroshima is home to...

A North Korean military intelligence officer has defected to South Korea, the South's Unification Ministry announced on Monday. While declining to give details, ministry spokesman Jeong Joon-hee confirmed the man is a colonel and called the defection "meaningful." He is believed to be one of the highest-ranking North Koreans to defect to the South. Jeong said the defection could be read as a sign of fissure at the top levels of North Korea's regime. The announcement comes just days after...

North Korea fired a pair of medium-range ballistic missiles from its east coast into the Sea of Japan at about 6 a.m. local time, according to South Korea's military. The first missile flew about 500 miles. This follows the launch of two short-range missiles last week. A senior defense department official says neither missile was a threat to the U.S. or regional allies, but that the launches violate multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions. "We call again on North Korea to refrain...

What started out as a budget tour to Pyongyang, North Korea's capital, has stretched into an extended stay for 21-year-old University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier. State media reported Wednesday that North Korea's highest court convicted Warmbier of subversion and sentenced him to 15 years of prison and hard labor. The offense? According to an apparent confession, Warmbier tried to steal a propaganda poster from his hotel. "North Korea's sentencing of Otto Warmbier to 15 years' hard...

The five-game clash pitting man against machine is over, with Google's artificial intelligence program winning the series.The program — called AlphaGo — took four of five games against Korean Lee Sedol, an 18-time world champion of the board game Go. "I feel a little regrettable because I believe that there is more that a human being could have shown in a match against artificial intelligence," Lee said following the final match. The matchup had all the mood and atmosphere of a prize fight. A...

As the international community grapples with how best to stymie North Korea's nuclear development, South Korea is making one move on its own. It's shutting down the last remaining vestige of inter-Korean cooperation, the Kaesong Industrial Complex. The special zone, located north of the border just six miles inside of North Korea, employs an estimated 55,000 North Koreans. South Korea's government and industries pay to operate the park. A total of 124 South Korean companies run businesses and...

Rescue efforts continue in southern Taiwan, three days after a powerful magnitude-6.4 earthquake shook the island and killed more than three dozen people. But hopes of finding survivors were fading. Early Monday, more than 100 people were still unaccounted for from the Golden Dragon apartment complex, the center of most rescue efforts. This weekend, there were countless stories of death — and life. One rescue caught on Taiwanese news cameras shows crews frantically yelling to help a 3-year...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript KELLY MCEVERS, HOST: A magnitude 6.4 earthquake has struck Taiwan. The epicenter was in the south of the country near Tainan City. Multiple buildings collapsed in the early hours of the morning while people were still sleeping. NPR's Elise Hu in the Taiwanese capital of Taipei, and she joins us now. And Elise, where you were, did you feel the earthquake? ELISE HU, BYLINE: I didn't feel it, Kelly. I slept right through it,...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hN7nu1DXH6A North Korea is a mysterious place — even to South Koreans. Curiosity about life in the north has sparked a slew of new South Korean TV shows. There is the Amazing Race -type program, in which North Korean women are paired up with South Korean men to take on various challenges, like trudging through mud carrying a bucket of water on their heads. There are the talk shows, featuring panels of North Korean defectors talking about their dangerous escapes...

North Korean state media said Friday that the country has detained a U.S. student from the University of Virginia for "anti-republic activities." The state-run agency, KCNA, said the student, Otto Frederick Warmbier, entered North Korea as a tourist but "with a goal to wreck the foundation of state unity ... under the manipulation of the U.S. government." The U.S. Embassy in Seoul said it was aware of the report. The University of Virginia's website lists an undergraduate with that name at...

North Korea announced on state television that it tested its first hydrogen bomb. The announcement followed a magnitude 5.1 earthquake that shook near the rogue nation's nuclear test site, Punggye-ri, at 10 a.m. local time. The hydrogen bomb test was "an act of self defense" against foreign threats, the announcement from the North said. "We've joined the rank of nations with nuclear weapons. We won't use the nuclear weapon as long as there's no invasion of our autonomy." If verified, this...

Fast-rising mobile technology has made buying stuff with a tap of an app easier than ever and shifted the way we shop. What were once permanent, brick-and-mortar stores, where shoppers look at items in a physical space, are now often pop-ups first — shops that last for a limited time only. Pop-up shops are temporary retail spaces that spring up in unused premises. Leases can last as short as a single day, when brands use the spaces for a promotional event instead of testing out a market. "As...

The South Korean labor leader holed up in a Buddhist temple to avoid arrest has turned himself in on charges of organizing illegal rallies, ending a 24-day standoff with police. Officers had planned to raid Seoul's top temple, Jogyesa, on Wednesday afternoon, but postponed a move to forcefully enter the temple after negotiations with the head of the Buddhist Jogye order. Han Sang-gyun, the head of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, was taking refuge in the temple following November...

The presidents of China and Taiwan are scheduled to meet on Saturday, the only such meeting since the civil war ended in 1949. The meeting will take place in Singapore. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou will discuss how to improve relations but Taiwan says no agreements are expected . Leaders of the two sides haven't met since the Communists won the Chinese civil war; the losing nationalists fled to Taiwan, where they established a separate government. The...

In the South Korean capital, an independent business owned by local artists is taking on Korea's arguably most famous celebrity — the entertainer and musician PSY. The real estate rift is representative of a fast-changing, modern Seoul, where skyrocketing rents in up-and-coming neighborhoods are forcing out longtime tenants and raising concerns about gentrification. At issue is a cafe and artist residency in Seoul's Hannamdong neighborhood. "The owner of the building is, as everyone knows,...

North Korea has returned a New York University student and South Korean national who had been detained in Pyongyang since April. 21-year-old Joo Won-moon was in North Korean custody after he crossed the border from China into North Korea, hoping to help strengthen ties between the two Koreas. "I thought some great event could happen and hopefully that event could have a good effect in the relationship between the North and the South," Joo told CNN in an interview in May. He was dropped off in...

This summer, NPR is getting crafty in the kitchen. As part of Weekend Edition 's Do Try This At Home series , top chefs are sharing their cleverest hacks and tips — taking expensive, exhausting or intimidating recipes and tweaking them to work in any home kitchen. This week: We go to Seoul, South Korea, to make banchan — those endless small plates of pickles and veggies that traditionally accompany rice or soup. The Chef Korean-American Dan Gray has lived in Seoul for more than a decade. He...

More than 3,400 people are now under quarantine in South Korea's fight to contain an outbreak of the Middle East respiratory syndrome — a deadly virus that can cause severe pneumonia and organ failure. So far, South Korea has reported 122 MERS cases. And the government is actively tracking the whereabouts of people possibly exposed to the virus. Chung-ahm is a Buddhist monk who's quarantined in the Jangduk village in southern South Korea. We called him up because we couldn't visit him in...

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