A former U.S. Army sergeant who defected to North Korea nearly 40 years ago will have to wait a while longer to begin a new life with his family.

Charles Jenkins was scheduled to leave the U.S. Army's Camp Zama near Tokyo Friday for his wife's hometown on the Japanese island of Sado. But officials now say his departure has been delayed by at least one week for procedural reasons.

Jenkins served 25 days in a U.S. military prison and was given a dishonorable discharge after pleading guilty to abandoning his squad and defecting to North Korea.

He is married to Hitomi Soga, one of several Japanese nationals kidnapped by North Korea in the 1970s. She returned to Japan in 2002 and was reunited with her husband in July.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.