South Korea approved a measure Wednesday that would foot the bills for North Korea’s participation in the Winter Olympics.

The South and North Exchange and Cooperation Promotion Council approved paying $2.64 million for North Korea’s Olympics related expenses. North Korea sent hundreds of people to the games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, including 22 athletes, a cheer squad, musicians, journalists and a political delegation.

The United Nations, the United States and others have imposed restrictive economic sanctions on North Korea which has both reduced their cash flow and made interacting with the outside world difficult. In addition to the sanctions, South Korea had its own set of restrictions and laws regarding interactions with North Korea.

“It is aimed at providing financial support for the North Korean delegation's visit to South Korea and for carrying out cultural cooperation projects,” said South Korea’s Unification Ministry in a statement.

The ministry deals with the relationship between the two countries.

North Korea’s participation in the Olympics was seen a diplomatic win for North and South Korea. Olympic organizers and South Korea had been fearful North Korea would do something to disrupt the games. When Seoul was awarded the 1988 Summer Olympics, North Korea used two secret agents to bomb an airplane full of South Koreans in 1987 in order to spread fear about traveling for them. 

Last year, North Korea test-fired a number of ballistic missiles and detonated a nuclear weapon, and fears ran high before North Korea decided to participate that it could test a weapon during the Olympics.

Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said that the Olympics were important for inter-Korean relations, according to South Korean wire service Yonhap.

"The North Korean delegation's participation in various forms is serving as a pretty good opportunity to [achieve] Seoul's goal to hold an Olympics of peace and becoming an important chance for harmony that improves the inter-Korean relationship and opens up the door for peace on the Korean Peninsula,” said Cho. “This could further pave the way for discussion to build and sustain peace on the peninsula.”