Asia-Pacific

North Korea calls rare second parliamentary session

North Korean parliament meeting (file image)
Image caption The extra meeting could discuss the issue of a successor to Kim Jong-il

North Korea is to hold a rare second parliamentary session, amid rising tensions with the South.

The North's official news agency said the Supreme People's Assembly would meet on 7 June but did not say why.

The assembly usually meets just once a year to approve proposals from the governing party. It has not held a second annual session since 2003.

Analysts say the meeting may be linked to increasingly strained ties with the South.

Tensions have been high since a South Korean warship, the Cheonan, sank on 26 March, killing 46 sailors.

South Korea has not officially blamed the North, but there has been speculation that Pyongyang may have been behind the incident. North Korea denies any involvement.

An international investigation into the sinking is due to report its findings on Thursday.

Analysts say the extra parliament session may also have been called to approve agreements that the leader, Kim Jong-il, is thought to have signed on a recent visit to China.

It may also herald further moves to promote Mr Kim's son, Kim Jong-un, as his successor.