Report: North Korean official to visit China

A state news agency says a senior North Korean official will visit China this week. The visit comes amid heightened tensions following North Korea's shelling of a South Korean island last week.

The official Xinhua News Agency said Sunday that the chairman of North Korea's Supreme People's Assembly will visit China from Tuesday to Saturday.

It says Choe Thae Bok was invited by China's second most powerful official, Wu Bangguo. Wu is chairman of the rubber-stamp National People's Congress.

No further details were provided.

Washington and Seoul have pressed China to use its influence on Pyongyang to ease tensions. China is impoverished North Korea's biggest benefactor and its only major ally.

(This version CORRECTS spelling of North Korean official's name to Choe Thae Bok.)