Hwasong-15, according to North Korean state media, reached an altitude of 4,475 kilometers (2,800 miles), and put the "whole" United States mainland in its range.
Four minutes later another Korean Air plane on a Los Angeles-Incheon flight also reported the same sighting to Japanese control, he said.
While North Korea has claimed that their new weapon has put all parts of the United States within reach of a devastating strike, USA officials say the latest test was a failure since the missile broke apart on re-entry as the airliner witnessed.
He said: "These two images from the same viewpoint, but dramatically different star backgrounds". "One shows Orion, which is south-southeastwest".
"You should see constellations that are opposites in the sky".
David C. Wright, a senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, wrote in a report Tuesday that the Cathay crew most likely had seen the missile's first stage burn out and fall back to earth.
Not all the images appear to be tampered with, Langbroek said.
According to Dr Marco Langbroek, Space Situational Awareness consultant at Leiden University in the Netherlands, the stars in some of North Korea's images don't match, suggesting the regime tampered with the photos before publication.
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But in picturing the missile as it ascends into the night sky, photographers would have used a fast shutter speed that would not have captured the stars as clearly as they show in the photos.
North Korea has a reputation of altering images it releases to the world, tampering with everything from Kim Jong Un's ears to hovercrafts conducting an amphibious landing.
Using stars to locate where a missile was launched is much more hard.
Flight paths in the region are drawingattention after two other Asian carriers said that some of their pilots believe they saw anotherballistic missile North Korea tested last week.
Jeffrey Lewis, a nuclear weapons expert at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, said on his latest podcast his team will use forensic software to lighten the nighttime images for clues.
"They looked so crisp, that just didn't seem right to me", McDowell said.