US President Donald Trump said Tuesday that his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un just hours away will determine whether a "real deal" can happen.
Trump tweeted in the early hours ahead of the historic summit in Singapore as all eyes are on whether the North will agree to give up its nuclear weapons program in exchange for security guarantees.
"Meetings between staffs and representatives are going well and quickly ... but in the end, that doesn't matter. We will all know soon whether or not a real deal, unlike those of the past, can happen!" Trump wrote.
The president was referring to previous agreements under which the North suspended its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs in exchange for economic aid. The agreements collapsed as both sides accused each other of failing to hold up their side of the deal.
Trump lashed out at his critics.
"The fact that I am having a meeting is a major loss for the US, say the haters & losers," he wrote in a subsequent tweet, addressing the criticism that a summit in itself gives legitimacy to the pariah regime.
"We have our hostages, testing, research and all missle (sic) launches have stoped (sic), and these pundits, who have called me wrong from the beginning, have nothing else they can say! We will be fine!"
North Korea released three American prisoners last month in a show of good faith ahead of the summit. It also stopped testing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles this year, something skeptics say is simply a demonstration that North Korea has completed the development of its weapons of mass destruction programs.