US Pentagon chief Mark Esper expressed concern over South Korea’s decision to terminate the intelligence-sharing deal with Japan, he said during a phone talk with the South Korean Defense Minister, Jeong Kyeong-doo.

South Korea announced the termination of the deal amid Japanese export restrictions on South Korea. The deal expires in November.

Expressing concern about a possible limitation on the exchange of intelligence, the head of the Pentagon highlighted the importance of continuing security cooperation and close communication between the three countries, South Korean Defense Minister’s official told reporters.

Esper supported the deal, saying in July that it was the key to their common defense.

The US Defense Department issued a statement and expressed deep concern and disappointment that President Moon Jae-in’s administration refused to renew the deal.