Polling stations are crowded with well-dressed voters eagerly waiting for their turns with many dancing to music of drums and gongs," reported the official Korean Central News Agency. It added that all participants would cast a "yes" vote in support of the ruling Workers' Party, headed by Kim Jong-il.
The "Dear Leader" himself was photographed casting his vote, together with his son Kim Jong-un, in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang.
Outside another polling station, a board listed the various candidates to become local and provincial bureaucrats, all uncontested, together with a large poster of a smiling man in a western-style suit saying: "Let's all vote for approval!"
The ballots left North Koreans little choice but to rubber-stamp candidates who had already been selected by the Workers' Party. In a 2007 local election, all candidates proposed were duly chosen
"I will live up to the expectations of the people who voted for me and become a true servant of the people," said Kim Song Un, an engineer running for the Pyongyang city assembly, pledging to build "an economically powerful nation."
During their four-year term, North Korea's local assemblies convene once or twice a year to approve budgets and endorse new leaders.
Analysts said yesterday's vote was aimed at revamping the country's bureaucracy before next year's 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-Sung, the founder of the country.
North Korea has also set a deadline of 2012 to attain the status of a "strong and prosperous nation" and the elder Kim is believed to be in the process of handing over power to his son.