efe-epaSeoul

North Korea, an authoritarian one party state, was holding elections to elect members to the national parliament on Sunday.

The vote, for which participation is mandatory and there is no choice of candidate, was likely to reinforce national unity and support for leader Kim Jong-un following the disappointment of his summit in Hanoi last month with United States president Donald Trump, which ended without a deal being struck, South Korean Yonhap news agency reported.

The Supreme People's Assembly, presided over by the veteran Kim Yong-nam, 91, who is considered the country's ceremonial head of state, comprises of 687 seats, one for each constituency.

With only one candidate standing in each of North Korea's electoral districts, the vote is a mere formality since these candidates are elected by an overwhelming majority. The legislative elections of 2014 had a voter turnout of 99.97 percent and each deputy secured 100 percent of the votes, according to the country's state media.

The new deputies will take the place of those elected in the previous elections, which are held every five years. These polls are the second since Kim took power in 2011.

The vast majority of the deputies belong to the ruling Workers' Party (607 of the 687 seats) while the remaining belong to minor parties, which are legally bound to accept the WPK's rule.

Some analysts believe the regime may be using these elections to send out a message of national cohesion to citizens after the failed summit between Kim and Trump last month in Hanoi.

On Saturday, the regime's official newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, said that the elections "will strongly show off our people's unwavering conviction to firmly trust and uphold our supreme leader (Kim Jong-un) against all odds".

On Friday, North Korean state media, which had not yet touched on the lack of an agreement in the summit, also spoke for the first time of the meeting's disappointing outcome and blamed Washington for the lack of an agreement.

Although the US and North Korea gave different accounts of what happened at the negotiating table, the disagreement allegedly revolved around the number of assets of the North Korean nuclear program to be dismantled and the amount of international sanctions on Pyongyang to be removed in exchange.

It is not known when the results of the elections will be declared.

In the 2014 polls, the result was made public two days after voting.