Paula Hancocks is an award-winning international correspondent for CNN International.
Paula Hancocks is an award-winning international correspondent for CNN International. Based in Seoul, South Korea, she is responsible for covering major stories on the Korean peninsula and the surrounding region.
Hancocks has covered some of the biggest stories in Asia in recent years, including North Korea's latest nuclear test and the global fallout, the AirAsia plane crash in Indonesia and the sinking of the Sewol ferry in South Korea, winning a New York Festival award.
Reporting on the devastating Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, Hancocks was aboard the first plane to land in Tacloban, one of the worst hit areas, and was the first international journalist to report live from the ground. Her reports on the human suffering and individual bravery showed the scale of the disaster to the world, while questioning President Benigno Aquino about his government's response. The team won the Royal Television Society award for Best International News Coverage.
In July 2013, Hancocks traveled around North Korea with Korean War veterans from the United States searching for the remains of a fallen comrade. Rare access to the isolated country and high level military officials gave Hancocks an insight that few journalists are allowed. She also led CNN's coverage of the death of the former leader Kim Jong Il, the rise of the new leader Kim Jong Un and the plight of American citizens detained in the country.
South of the border, Hancocks has covered Seoul's dealings with its neighbor, Presidential elections and deadly floods. She reported exclusively on North Korea's assassination weapons and the story of nine young defectors sent back to North Korea just when they thought they were safe.
She has reported extensively from Myanmar on the victory of Nobel Peace Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi, in the historic parliamentary elections in 2012 and the dramatic opening up of the once isolated country. Following Suu Kyi around the country during her election campaign, Hancocks spoke to people denied a voice for so many years.
In March 2011, Hancocks was the first international reporter to arrive at the devastated tsunami zone in Japan near the epicenter of the earthquake to cover the aftermath of the natural disaster and the ensuing nuclear catastrophe. She reported from the heart of that disaster inside reactor 4 in the plant.
Hancocks has covered many other natural disasters around the world, traveling to remote parts of Western Indonesia to cover the aftermath of a tsunami and to Sri Lanka to cover the devastating impact of the 2004 Asia tsunami, for which the team won a DuPont-Columbia Award.
Hancocks has reported from many of the world's hotspots in recent years, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and across the Middle East.
Prior to taking up her position in Seoul, Hancocks was based in Jerusalem and reported on the 2008 Gaza war, border clashes between Israel and Lebanon, smuggling tunnels and rocket factories in Gaza and the deadly confrontation aboard an aid ship bound for Gaza. On a daily basis, she covered the political intricacies of a never-ending peace effort and the anger and frustrations on both sides of the conflict. Traveling in and out of the region for many years, she also covered the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict in 2006, for which the team won the Ed Murrow award.
Previously, she served as an international correspondent at CNN's London bureau, reporting on a wide range of stories including the London bombings, the aftermath of the Iraq war and bombings in Istanbul.
Hancocks joined CNN in 1997 as a production assistant. Prior to joining CNN she studied for a postgraduate degree in broadcast journalism at the University of Wales, Cardiff. She also graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in French and Italian from the University of Durham. Hancocks grew up in Monmouth, South Wales.
Follow Paula on Twitter: @PHancocksCNN