WASHINGTON — California Rep. Duncan Hunter believes the United States should consider a preemptive strike against North Korea, to ensure the rogue regime there doesn’t attack American sites first.

“The North Koreans have to see it from the American perspective,” the Republican lawmaker said during an interview on KUSI on Thursday. “We in Congress have all these classified hearings and briefings — We assume, I assume the North Koreans can reach mainland U.S. with an (intercontinental ballistic missile) that has a nuclear bomb on it.

“With that in our understanding, (North Korean leader) Kim Jong Un needs to realize we’re not playing games here. We’re not posturing … From our perspective, why would we not hit you first? Why would we not do a preemptive strike when you have ICBMs leveled at us and you’re not a logical player in the world’s scene?”

The comments came at the same time the White House announced new economic sanctions against North Korea for their recent nuclear and missile tests, moves which have increased tensions between the two countries.

Earlier in the week, after mocking Kim on Twitter as “rocket man” for the tests, President Donald Trump told members of the United Nation’s general assembly that “if (the United States) is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”

On Thursday, in an official statement, Kim mocked President Donald Trump as “a frightened dog” and “the mentally deranged U.S. dotard.” He said the United States would “pay dearly” for recent agressions.

Trump responded on Twitter Friday morning by calling Kim “a madman who doesn’t mind starving or killing people” and said North Korea “will be tested like never before.”

Hunter, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan with the Marine Corps, praised Trump’s UN speech as strong and direct.

“It was great. It was great seeing America lead for a change,” he said. “He wasn’t being wishy-washy … He said we’re going to stand with our allies and go after our enemies.”

But the longtime Trump supporter disagreed with the White House decision not to take stronger action than new economic sanctions.

“We’ve been acquiescing to North Korea, and trying to have sanctions and do things with them and for them and around them for three or four presidencies,” Hunter said. “We’ve been playing this game, and now they have a nuclear weapon they can deliver to the U.S. or our allies.

“I don’t know how much more reckless he has to be for the United States to see this as a clear and present danger.”

He said North Korean officials need to be prepared “to have the devil blown out of them” if they continue antagonizing the international community.

“It’s not like we’re going to invade North Korea to take their oil or something,” he said. “Nobody wants anything to do with North Korea except have them be a stable, friendly country that’s not shooting nukes at people. That’s not too much to ask, right?”

Hunter’s full interview is available on the KUSI web site.